I’ve always wanted to be a rich person. Not just to BE rich and squander it away but to be rich so I could experience great things in life, namely travel, and to give back as much as possible. I have a charitable heart but an empty pocketbook most days. I love to give what I can to worthy causes but sometimes there just isn’t much left after all the bills are paid, food is in the fridge and clothes are on our back. So, when I get buy something that I need and that I was planning to get anyway AND give back, I’m sublimely happy.
Lots of companies have picked up on this, sadly a lot through tragedy aid efforts – Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, the Japan earthquake, and most recently, the Joplin tornadoes. I love being able to give something back when I purchase a product, and that product always serves as a sweet reminder to me to think about and pray for those affected.
Here are some companies after my own heart with awesome causes and great products:
I’m sure you’ve heard of or have seen TOMS shoes and have heard of their one for one cause. TOMS shoes will give a pair of shoes to a child in need of shoes for each pair that you purchase. I just LOVE this. Truth be told, I wasn’t much of a fan of the classic TOMS style. Recently they have released wedges and I have to say, they are incredibly cute. I think I need to pick up this cute coral pair for summer:
And, much to my surprise, TOMS now has a One for One program for sunglasses! I just broke my treasured and favorite pair of Ray Bans and was pretty bummed out. I was already in the market for new glasses and love this classic style offered by TOMS.
It warms my heart knowing that someone will be helped to receive the gift of sight from my purchase.
These beautiful handmade beads are a little piece of Africa. I was touched by Nakate’s story and how they came about and thrilled that a portion of proceeds go back to aid the women of Africa. What a wonderful and truly deserving cause. The beads are, in a word, gorgeous.
BETTER LIFE BAGS
Better Life Bags is the amazing project of my dear friend Rebecca Smith. Becky and I attended high school and church youth group together, though briefly, as her father’s work carried her out to the Midwest towards the end of my high school years. I was so sad, but so touched to stay somewhat in contact with her all these years. I’ve watched her business and her talent grow and grow (along with her beautiful family) and am so proud of all that she has accomplished. Her custom-made colorful bags are incredible and so usable.
I bought a Market Tote for all the stuff I’m constantly hauling around and I can’t say enough good things about it. I got to choose the fabrics, which I LOVE. It is incredibly well-made and thoughtfully designed. Plus, it’s just so cute. And, folds up into a tiny little thing that I can pop anywhere.
BUT… the BEST part of this wonderful business is how much Becky gives back. She has partnered with Kiva.org to loan funds from her proceeds to low-income entreprenuers in developing countries so they can fight back against poverty. It’s an incredible organization and Becky has been able to lend to countless people! I’ve already lost count of how many. What a blessing she is!
What are your favorite charitable brands? I’d love to hear more!