10 Gifts That Keep On Giving
Copyright Kris Heeter
Whether it be the holidays or any other gift buying occasion during the year, socially conscience buying is becoming more appealing to many of us.
Non-profit and for-profit businesses exist throughout the U.S. and around the world that are dedicated to helping men and women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment.
There are several socially conscious businesses that provide individuals with safe working environments and job skills. The business, in turn, sells gifts and products made by the individuals. Proceeds from sales go right back into the business to further provide opportunities for other men and women.
The next time you are in need of a gift, consider giving one that has been handmade and benefits not only the person you give it to but also gives an opportunity for someone to learn and better their lives.
Below is a list of 10 gift ideas from four socially conscious businesses. They offer wonderful gifts online.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks, there are many more out there!
Women's Bean Project
Founded in 1989, the Women's Bean Project is dedicated to transforming the lives of women by helping them break out of the cycle of poverty and unemployment. Those accepted into the project learn various business and life skills during a six-month program. The project creates a range of projects that are sold online or through specialty and fair trade stores. This is a just handful of the items they sell:
1. Bean Soup Mixes - several to choose from:
- Firehouse Chili
- Ten Bean Soup
- Spicy Split Pea Soup
- Old Fashioned Mild Chili
- Black Bean Soup
- Six Bean Soup with Organic Beans and Spices
2. Dip Mixes, Spice Rubs, and Salsa Mixes
- Delicious Dill Dip Mix
- Smokey Tomato Dip Mix
- Garlic and Herb Dip Mix
- BBQ Spice Rub
- Malaysian Spice Rub
- Salsa Mixes (2 varieties to choose from)
- Fajita Marinades (2 varieties to choose from)
3. Handmade Jewelry - over 40 designs to choose from. The Women's Bean Project has a volunteer designer that works with the women to create these unique pieces.
In addition, they offer cookie mixes, coffee, tea and gift baskets!
Soup Of Success
Soup Of Success is program for women who are struggling with difficult life situations. The program is designed to help women make positive changes as they work toward self-sufficiency.
Like the Women's Bean Project (WBP), they offer a variety of gourmet soups and dips (different from the WBP) along with several other fun gift ideas:
4. Gourmet Desserts and Cookie Mixes
- Grandma's Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie Mix
- Cranberry Yogurt Cookie Mix
- Double Chocolate Kiss of Mint Cookie Mix
- Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
- Chocolate Cherry Supreme Cookie Mix
- Turtle Brownie Mix
Are you hungry yet?
5. Snack Mixes
- Banana Split Trail Mix
6. Greeting Cards - handmade greeting cards for many occasions in two styles: stamped and freestyle stitched
Sweet Beginnings LLC Documentary
Founded by Brenda Palms Barber, Sweet Beginnings LLC give those with a criminal background a second chance. Sweet Beginnings was recently featured in Inc. magazine for its dedication for helping former inmates find jobs. Inc. points out that: "Since 2007, about 200 former inmates—up to 15 a quarter—have worked at Sweet Beginnings".
This company offers a line of natural bee products that are sure to be a "sweet" and meaningful gift for someone on your list.
Products are available online and in selected Chicago area stores.
7. Beeline Natural Honey - harvested from the Beeline Apiaries in Chicago. Bees feast on a variety of prairie wildflowers including: little bluestem, bluebells, woodland phlox, trillium, and white clover. * Beeline is a registered trademark
8. Beeline Skin Care Products
- Body Cream
- Hand and Foot Butter Balm
- Lip Balm
- Shower Gel
- Honey and Brown Sugar Polisher and Exfoliator
Plus many gift sets and collections!
Made By Survivors works to bring children rescued from slavery into safe shelter homes like this one
Made By Survivors
Founded in 2005, Made By Survivors is based out of the U.S. and sponsors hundreds of child survivors and children that were born in brothel communities, enabling them to attend school for the first time and be removed from slave trafficking.
Made By Survivors sells jewelry and products made by women and girls who were rescued from brothels in Thailand, India, Cambodia, and Nepal and children from Uganda soldier slavery. Those rescued are taught valuable sewing and trade skills that they can use to become self-sufficient as adults.
9. Handmade Paper Products - these are made from renewable resources in Nepal.
- Greeting Cards
10. Handmade Handbags, wallets and totes