Sheology Shopping Guide: Gifts That Give Back

By Bo Stern | | @bolovesjoe

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in the commercialism of Christmas. And now that my kids are grownups with jobs and stuff (taking a praise break right this minute about that!) they really can buy what they want for themselves. My parents don’t need anything. My co-workers are pretty much set. I want to bless them, but I also don’t like buying meaningless gifts. So, I’ve switched to some companies that I know do good work in the area of giving back. There are so many of them out there now, so do your homework and shop around and see what treasure you can find and what goodness you can spread. Here are few of my favorites:

Kieh'l’s Smooth Skin Delights - This luxurious set of hand creams (in Grapefruit and Lavender scents) is so necessary during the winter months and perfect for your mom, boss or sister. Best of all the proceeds from each set provide 282 meals for Feeding America. Available at Nordstrom’s.

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Mercy House Global: This organization is an online global marketplace featuring items handmade by empowered women around the world who create product to provide for their families. I am especially in love with their “Move Mountains” collection, which has mountain jewelry, prints and gorgeous journals (I spent a BUNCH of money on this line for gifts without feeling one bit guilty about it). Also, check out their Charitable Gift Catalogue for ideas on what to give the person who has everything and will love knowing the money went to a woman in need.

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The Starling Project makes a modern, minimalistic and ethically-sourced candle that I’ve been told smells divine AND the proceeds help provide solar power to communities in need throughout the world. They’re speedy for a candle, but they have a 60-hour burn time and a great mission statement.

This gorgeous bottle of wine is just $30 and helps feed hungry kids, with profits going to End Childhood Hunger. All OneHope wines support various charities, so shop around their site and find something for everyone on your gift list.

Here’s a fun idea for the couple on your list! Put a cute plant in this darling planter from MudLove and include a card so they know that the gift also provided one week’s worth of clean water for people in Central Africa. Another idea from MudLove? These darling handmade tumblers in the color Rhubarb. I die! They are SO WONDERFUL!

For the fashionista - Warby Parker sunglasses. Like Tom’s Shoes, WP is a buy one/give one company - for every pair you buy, they give a pair of glasses to someone who cannot afford glasses and cannot work because of impaired vision - did you know more than 624 MILLION people are in that situation (and the gift of glasses increases their earning potential by 20%)? This is a great way to give AND give back.

For ANYONE (I SO love this gift!) - a Love Your Melon beanie. 50% of the proceeds support pediatric cancer patients. Just beautiful.

Maybe my favorite company in this lineup is Fashion Able - with all kinds of gorgeous goods made by women in impoverished countries. This tote bag? Swoon. I adore it. It’s not cheap, but it is high quality and high-impact on the lives of those who are employed (with fair wages) to create it. You could kill an afternoon shopping all the amazing products on this site - each one named after a female artisan.

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Fashion Able also has a fun list of gifts under $50 - including this amazing charcuterie board.

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Redefined Jewelry is small but mighty. We LOVE Gena’s scripture-inspired art and her twofold mission: To support children through Compassion International and to help people root their identity in the truth of God’s love. Her story of hope and freedom from anxiety is beautiful and important - you can read it on the About page at her web site. And her jewelry is stunning, meaningful and affordable. (And if you’re in the market for a holiday WIN, watch our Instagram account for a giveaway from her store next week!) (And if you’re my boyfriend, this necklace would make my heart sing.)

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Please remember that most of the companies on this list do not mass produce and they don’t usually ship as quickly as, say, Amazon prime. Now is the time if you want to give a gift that gives back!

Happy Shopping,


Whitney ParnellComment