Gifts that Give Back: Part 1

If anyone is still out there…HI!…thanks for continuing to come back to my little corner of the internet.

I know I keep saying I’m going to keep up with this blog on a regular basis and I promise that day is coming! I just need to get through this month. I’m swamped at work, the Hubs is working mandatory 50 hour weeks and I have jury duty! Not to mention we are trying to get our house ready to sell. Good news, though, I survived the holidays and since you are here I’m guessing you survived as well! Yay us!

Speaking of the holidays, as you all know, I struggled with Christmas a lot this year. After really contemplating the meaning of Christmas I decided I really didn’t want or need anything. I tried very hard to get the Hubs to not buy me anything but he refused. So I did the next best thing. I found a bunch of charities/fair trade companies selling items that give back in some way. I wanted to highlight each gift and the charity/company they came from. This would be a really long post if I included everything in one so I am going to break it down into two separate posts. So please come back to see the remainder of the companies. I don’t want you to miss out on any of them because they are all doing great things!

Ubuntu Made – Key chain

Okay this is by far the best gift I received this year and I even got it before Christmas. The Hubs was so excited and I believe I was having a rough day the day it arrived in the mail so I got it early. This key chain far exceeded my expectations mostly because the Hubs went beyond what I told him I wanted. The cool thing about this product is that they partnered with Zazzle to add a personalization option. I only asked that the key chain say “Present Over Perfect” as yet another reminder for me to stop stressing about everything being perfect. The Hubs took it a step further and added images of our two kids and a picture of us from our wedding. The images are laser etched which gives the key chain a really cool look. The products themselves are all made in Kenya and help to support the Maai Mahiu community by providing jobs to the local artisans. The profits from Ubuntu Made also directly impact the Ubuntu Foundation. The foundation has two great programs, Ubuntu Heal and Ubuntu School. Ubuntu Heal is a partnership with Dell Children’s Medical Center that helps bring health and education to the community while the Ubuntu School provides therapy, education, and vocational training to children with special needs.

MantraBand – Bracelets

I stumbled upon this company on Instagram and fell in love with the idea. I’ve been really working hard to find my path in life and just struggling with who I really am. So I loved all of the positive phrases available. I finally decided on “Everything happens for a reason” because I tell myself that all of the time. I have to remind myself that sometimes bad things happen so that something good can occur. I loved these bracelets so much that I bought myself another one with money I received for Christmas. I bought myself “Live what you love” because I’ve spent a lot of time doing what I thought I should be doing but not what makes me happy. I’m now working on figuring out what exactly I love so I can enjoy life more and this bracelet is a constant reminder of my journey. MantraBand is another great company that works with 1% for the Planet by donating at least 1% of their annual sales to non-profit, environmental organizations.


Pura Vida – Bracelets

This is another company that I found through Instagram. I’ve been looking for some fun colorful bracelets to remind me to not be so serious all of the time and that encompass a free spirit kind of vibe. Like I mentioned above I’m working towards enjoying life more and trying to stress less. I’m really starting to realize I’ve been working so hard to fit into this cookie cutter personality and way of life and that just isn’t me. These bracelets are a great reminder of that. I love that Pura Vida not only employs people from Costa Rica to help lift them out of poverty but they also donate 1% of their annual net revenue to environmental organizations worldwide. On top of all of that they also have a charity line with bracelets created for several different charities. A percentage of the sale from those bracelets goes directly back to the named charity. Oh and if you know of a charity that they don’t already work with they are constantly looking for new charities to support.

The Giving Keys – Necklace

This was by far one of my favorite gifts. I received the Matte Black Key Necklace with the word “Strength” stamped on it to remind me to always be strong. I don’t really do resolutions but I always try to have one thing that I work on for the year. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t stick to it 100% but it’s always on my mind. My focus for this year is to find my inner strength. I’ve noticed through my journey that I’m not as strong as I used to be. I used to have more faith in myself and God but I’ve somehow lost that along the way. I want to get that back! Of course the Giving Key company also does great things through their work. They employ people that are transitioning out of homelessness to help them get set on the right path. Another cool thing about this company is the idea behind their products. They want you to use their products as a source of daily inspiration until you meet someone that needs it more than you. So once you’ve fully embraced your word you can pass it on and inspire someone else.

Next time you are in the market for anything new or looking for a great gift for someone else I urge you to search out any of these companies. You can also find more charities/fair trade companies that sell wonderfully created items by doing a simple search. Please stop by here again tomorrow to see even more wonderful companies I would like to highlight.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Dana-
    I absolutely love this idea! I think I’d like shopping from these sites as well. This is the meaning of Christmas – thinking of others and giving! I think what you’re doing is wonderful. ☺ And honestly, there aren’t many of us that really “need” anything, especially when you think of many who can’t afford their next meal. At the same time, it’s nice to give gifts to say you love someone, you appreciate them for what they’ve done for you, or just for being there for you.

    This idea reminds me of my mother, a very non-materialistic person. In the last years of her life, she would buy each of our families an “animal” on Christmas. (I can’t remember the name of the organization.) We would get a cow or sheep, horse or goat, etc… These animals were given to families in desperately poor countries. We would get a card that told us all the ways this animal would help this family for the next year. How I always treasured those gifts. I actually received nothing (but a card). But in my name, a wonderful gift was given to someone who literally would be able to thrive for another year because of MY gift.

    You have so many wonderful organizations here. My favorite gift you picked are the MantraBand bracelets. I like the sayings; especially the one you picked that says, “Everything happens for a reason”. Like you, I know we have struggles in life for a reason. I believe they bring us ultimately closer to our Lord, as we rely on Him to get us through. As I look back on my life, I do see the “good” that has resulted in some of the tragedies in my life, but when I don’t, I trust that God’s plan is and always will be superior.

    Keep growing, Keep searching, and Keep giving!

    …actually I really like the keychain, the colorful bracelets and the key too – they’re all awesome!

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