To me the holiday season is all about giving. Ever since I was little I’ve loved finding the perfect gift for the people I love. The thrill of seeing unguarded-human reaction when opening thoughtful gifts is such a natural high for me. I truly do enjoy giving more than receiving, I always have. Not to say I won’t accept gifts…don’t get crazy! I’d rather get gifts in the form of experiences with the people I love, like a trip or a show rather than a
thing. However, when that ‘thing’ does something with the money you use to purchase it, then that object becomes more than just a thing. It becomes a symbol of goodness that’s being done. And lets face it, there’s so much goodness that needs to be done in this world. Lucky for us, there’s also a lot of do-gooders out there doing the good. They’re producing products and services that allow consumers to reach out with their money in a way that they themselves may not have been able to.
Below I’ve compiled a list of some of favorite causes & brands that are doing the good with your money. No surprise that these causes surround food. Sadly it’s no secret our country / world is in the throws of a ‘hunger epidemic.’ Between economies crashing, global weather patterns shifting, and the lack of education about sustainable food sources…we’ve found ourselves in an alarming situation. People can try and point fingers, but that just wastes time and energy. Why not funnel that energy into something productive, positive, and progressive?! These companies & organizations have found ways to create ‘things’ that do major things for others around the world and in our communities. Tis’ the season to give; why not give a gift that truly keeps on giving?
I learned about FEED Projects when they partnered up with Target a couple of years ago. Their founder/creator is Lauren Bush Lauren. As a World Food Programme (WFP) Honorary Student Spokesperson, Lauren visited countries around the world in Asia, Latin America, and Africa where WFP is operating, and was inspired by the plight of the people she met on her travels. She took a special interest in WFP’s School Feeding program, which feeds and educates hungry children. After witnessing the effects of hunger firsthand, Lauren founded FEED in 2007 with the mission of “Creating Good Products That Help FEED the World.” You can read more about FEED’s history & involvement here. Their mission is pretty clear ; FEED’s mission is to create good products that help FEED the world. We do this through the sale of FEED bags, accessories, and apparel by building a set donation into the cost of each product. Thus the impact of each product, signified by a stenciled number, is understandable, tangible, and meaningful.
Over the years I’ve purchased FEED products for myself, friends, and family. I’ve always found their products to be of great quality and sustainability. This t-shirt is my latest purchase of FEED products. Just by purchasing this shirt I’ve helped to provide 10 meals. 10! That’s awesome. Their products range from bags (big and small), t-shirts, bracelets, hats, and even aprons & oven mitts! Check out their full line of apparel and other goods here. As of today, they’ve provided over 85 million meals world wide. Yeah. Let’s keep that going!
Half United [fashion that feeds] is a company that was started by a brother & sister with just $200. Their intent was to help fight global hunger. They also just happen to be from my college town of Wilmington, NC. This company has blossomed into a thriving business that now partners with major players in the socially conscious retail world like, TOMS. Half of the profits from all items go to fighting the global hunger epidemic & their products are American made! As they said… “Our mission is to change the world and that starts with the people in our own backyard.” This necklace is one I gifted myself for my birthday. Feels good to know one necklace helped to provide a weeks worth of meals to a child in need. Since 2010 they’ve helped to provide over 115,000 meals. That’s quite impressive for a grassroots company, or any company for that matter. Their products range from their original ‘fighting hunger necklaces‘ made from recycled bullet casings to earrings, bracelets, clothing, and now journals & pencil sets. The necklaces are a great choice for a bold yet simple statement. Conversation starters are my favorite kinds of accessories. Accessories that speak for themselves…yes, please. #doyourhalf
On the local level, I love supporting organizations like Seed of Life Nurseries. They offer a fantastic CSA (community supported agriculture) program that make an amazing gift for the food lovers in your life. Who wouldn’t want farm-fresh produce hand picked and packaged on a weekly basis? Not only that, with the money spent on your ‘share’ of produce SOL turns around and supports the local community with food drops to families in need, cooking classes for youth, and agriculturally centered programs that provide ‘awareness and dignity’ to those involved. Through teaching cooking classes & volunteering at events I’ve been lucky enough to get to know the family behind SOL Nurseries. Talk about good-doers. Through their dedication, education, and emphasis on lending a helping hand wherever it’s needed; this is one organization that truly builds community. Find out more about their CSA programs here and give a gift that gives back in more ways than one. #shoplocal #supportlocal #supportlocalfarms
Happy Holidays to all. Give the goods that give back this year. But remember, it’s the gift of joy & laughter that is the greatest gift of all. So eat, drink, and be merry—the giggles & ‘joy to the world’ will surely follow!