Thursday, December 4, 2014

Taking Back the Holidays: Turn Your Christmas Upside Down

Americans spend over $450 BILLION each year on Christmas.  That averages out to about $700 per adult. And what do we have to show for it at the end of the holiday season?  Often it's stress, grumpiness, debt, and stuff.  However, we can Take Back the Holidays by choosing to turn our Christmas upside down this year. 

Tony and I look for ways each year that we can spend our money wiser.  Some of our favorite organizations are one that provide jobs and opportunities to those in need, helping them to rise about devastating circumstances, in exchange for a good or service.  Here are a few of those organizations:

Krotchet Kids:

Our kids are each getting a hat from Krotchet Kids for Christmas this year.  The hats are gorgeous and incredibly soft.  Each hat is signed by the woman who crocheted it.  We can't wait to introduce our kids to those ladies.

We believe in the capabilities of people. Our goal is to holistically equip people living in poverty with the skills, education, and resources to change their circumstances forever. Work provides worth. Education breeds innovation. Mentorship nourishes relationships. Through this multi-faceted and measured approach we work with each beneficiary to create a path toward independence.

Ornaments 4 Orphans:

This is our second year purchasing O4O.  Again, I'm blown away by how adorable these ornaments are.  We love to give these to teachers, counselors, and therapists at the Christmas season. 

Ornaments4Orphans’ mission is to empower indigenous artisans through fair trade practices, invest in the holistic care of orphaned children through our partners, and provide our customers with an opportunity to purchase beautiful, handmade items that bless others. When you purchase products from Ornaments4Orphans, you can be certain that you have made a difference in the lives of the men, women, and children where Ornaments4Orphans is present.

31 Bits:

Beautiful fashion and jewelry to support women in Uganda.  31 Bits just began a line of girls' bracelets also, which are incredibly adorable.

Every purchase you make can either have a positive or negative impact on the world. 31 Bits is part of a movement revolutionizing the way people do business. We value both the creator and the consumer. The artisans in our program are receiving a sustainable income and holistic education, empowering them to rise above poverty. Our accessories are marked by fresh colors and crisp design. Our customers exemplify sophistication and compassion.

The heartbeat of 31 Bits is made of love, creativity, community, endless laughter, compassion, story telling, fashion, and frequent dance parties. Click around and learn more about how we started, why we do what we do, and the people behind our company.

Noonday Collection:

Again, beautiful jewelry and fashion to empower women across the globe.  Noonday also offers an Amassador Program, much like Pampered Chef and Mary Kay, to bring awareness to their product.

Noonday Collection's mission is to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable. We partner with artisans in the developing world, empowering them to grow sustainable businesses. By creating a marketplace for their goods, we create dignified jobs at living wages. This allows our artisans to earn more in order to support their families. We also offer no interest loans and make advance payments on orders. This way we are able to shoulder the costs of materials and build a lasting relationship based on trust. We offer scholarship programs and emergency assistance. Noonday Collection also donates a portion of sales from adoption trunk shows to place orphans in forever families. Noonday Collection is not a charity and we do not believe that providing a hand out is a sustainable long-term solution to poverty. We aim to be a sustainable business that gives women across the United States a way to make a lasting difference in the fight against poverty and injustice. This is what makes this movement so special.

How are you going to let your money speak this Christmas?  You can purchase beautiful, handcrafted gifts that empower an artisan half a world away.

Do you have an organization that you like to support at Christmas to help turn your Christmas upside down?  Post a link in the comments.

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