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10 Gifts That Keep On Giving

Updated on April 20, 2015

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

Sweet Beginnings

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
  • Lotion
  • 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.

  • Journals
  • Notecards
  • Greeting Cards

10. Handmade Handbags, wallets and totes


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    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @Bellflower Books - thanks for adding to the discussion:)

    • profile image

      Bellflower Books 5 years ago

      Great ideas--so much better than just buying something expensive and generic. We've given many books to the Pink Ribbon Girls, a charity that supports young women with breast cancer, and it has meant a lot of all of the recipients.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great concept..never heard of these.People who feel worth will most likely BE worthy!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @Brett.Tesol - thanks for checking this hub out and sharing! I agree, the prices aren't bad and I like the fact that it's giving someone a chance make a better life or to get back on their feet. I'd much rather buy from a group like than to be buying at superstore where so much stuff is produced in sweat shops.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Worthy projects and I was surprised that their prices are not bad at all. I'll be SHARING this one!

      Voted up and useful.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      @debbie roberts - I agree! Helping their self esteem is one of the things I like about these programs is that they are learning valuable life skills:)

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 6 years ago from Greece

      What a nice idea that the money we spend can go towards helping people help themselves. It's not only the money that help unfortunate people, but it helps their self esteems by them knowing that people want and will pay for something they have taken the time to produce. Also whoever we are there is a sense of achievement in feeling that we have earnt rather than just taken.

      An interesting hub.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What a great Hub! Thanks for putting together all this information and telling us about these resources and programs. You have done quite a service for us. :)

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      Veronica - thanks for stopping by. As I run across more, I'll share them. I like knowing my spending dollar can make a difference:)

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I absolutely love this hub, and am very appreciative of you having created it. What a great way to spread the word, and help educate others about some very worthy organizations. Great ideas for gifts for others! I look forward to reading more about each of them, and helping to further spread the word! I've bookmarked this one! =]

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      Really great hub! As a former director of a nonprofit for special needs kids, those gifts at the time really make a difference in lives. Wonderful ideas.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thanks for this interesting and informative hub. Some great ideas!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 6 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      thanks for sharing! Like you , I am big on giving back and did not know of many of these. Great Hub!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      @millionaire Tips - thanks for stopping buy. I like the idea of buying something that has helped empower others!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      These are great ideas. They area great way to help others who are less fortunate and feel good while we share the holiday spirit.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      @ SimpleGiftsofLove - thanks so much for sharing these other 3. At least one sounds familiar - I'm anxious to check them out!

      @mljdgully354 and @Infiniteresearch - thanks for stopping by and the comments!

    • Infiniteresearch profile image

      Infiniteresearch 6 years ago from Ohio

      Love this Hub. Perfect way to share the Christmas spirit and help those less fortunate...count me in for an order. Really just a fantastic presentation of worthwhile causes. Voted Up!

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 6 years ago

      Great gift giving ideas. Thank you for sharing this hub

    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image

      SimpleGiftsofLove 6 years ago from Colorado

      Great hub during a season that could certainly use some others-centeredness. For kids there are Angel Tree, DreamsComeTrue and Samaritan's Purse which do outstanding works too! Up and interesting and useful!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      @ Hillbilly Zen - thanks for stopping by! Writing this hub was starting to make me hungry:)

      @tsarnaudova - I agree, these are gifts that really do count. Whenever I buy one for someone, I always try to include some history behind it to the person I give it to

      @homeinstead - thanks so much for sharing this with your followers!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      What a lovely idea, and a great gift. Thanks so much for sharing such wonderful information about how we can help people learn to help themselves.

      Sharing and voting up!

    • tsarnaudova profile image

      Tsvetana Kodjabasheva 6 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Great hub, Kris! These are the gifts that really count!

    • Hillbilly Zen profile image

      Hillbilly Zen 6 years ago from Kentucky

      Ms. Kris, this one's definitely bookmarkable. Thank you so much for highlighting these compassionate companies. Voted up across the board (including funny for the "Are you hungry yet?")!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      What great ideas! You can get a great gift and at the same time help people who really need it. Wonderful hub!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      Hi Nancy,

      Yes, if you click on the highlighted business names, it will take you to their website and you can order directly online.

      Each group has a their own established method for screening those that qualify for services. They usually work with those in need within their communities - there should be contact information on each website for inquiries.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 6 years ago from USA

      This is great sharing! Tell me if I understand correctly. It sounds like we can click on the links for each of the businesses and place our orders on line.

      Also, there might be readers who qualify for some of these programs. Do you know what the appropriate channel is for a person wanting to find out if they qualify for services of these organizations?

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Interesting read. Thanks for sharing.