With that being said, the idea of brightening someone's day, paying it forward, and making the world a better place really resonates with me. So this season, my husband and I ditched the "traditional" holiday gifts in exchange for gifts that "give back".
Two companies that stole my heart this season for their philanthropic business models were The Giving Keys and Feed Projects.
First, these designs help transition people out of homelessness. The Giving Keys is dedicated to employing homeless persons, and giving them the opportunity to better their lives via increasing financial income, accruing job skills, and bolstering resumes for future endeavors.
Second, the designs are made out of recycled material #sustainable
Lastly, each key is intended to be "paid forward" to someone in need. Every key is stamped with a unique message like LOVE, CREATE, HOPE, STRENGTH, LET GO, or COURAGE. Once the wearer comes across someone who is in greater need of the message on the key, they gift the piece of jewelry to that person, and submit their story of how they paid it forward so that all can see.
This mission touches those who are malnourished in developing countries, as well as the neighbors with grumbling bellies in our own backyard.
These beautiful designs are made by artisans working in fair trade environments. Products are crafted from natural, sustainable materials that are proudly stamped with the FEED logo and a number.
Now one might ask--what does the number mean? The number signifies the designated amount of meals each specific accessory provides for those in need, e.g., the number '50' to signify that the bag provides 50 school meals.
As of December 2014, FEED will have provided OVER 87 MILLION MEALS to those in need.
For every FEED product purchased, a donation is made to one of the three hunger-relief organizations below
HUNGER IS NO. 1 ON THE LIST OF THE WORLD'S TOP 10 HEALTH RISKS*
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - The WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. WFP's five objectives are to save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies; prepare for emergencies; restore and rebuild lives after emergencies; reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition everywhere; and strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger. WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded. To learn more, visit wfp.org.
Although I only highlighted two companies that touched my heart, there are a multitude of organizations out there paying it forward & making the world a better place. I encourage you to check them out & spread the love.
Wishing a very merry holiday season to you and yours!