Every Christmas, hubby and I spend a lot of time thinking and buying the gifts we’d give to our families, friends, and workmates. In so doing, we consider what’s practical both for them and for us, and we choose something that would not be too heavy on the pocket since we have quite a long list of recipients each year. This year, however, we wanted gift-giving to be more purposive and meaningful. We thought that instead of giving Christmas goodies to those in our list, reaching out and providing simple yet important gifts to the needy would mean so much more. After all, I’m sure our families, friends, and workmates are capable of buying on their own the items that we’d give them. Homeless families, orphans and the like, however, can only hope for a few kind-hearted people to show even a little love for them this Christmas. And so, hubby and I decided to take quite a different route this year.
At first we said that we’ll drop the whole traditional gift-giving altogether. Instead, we’ll use the funds supposedly set aside for Christmas gifts and use them to buy food baskets (or mini Noche Buena sets) for families we see on the streets. I even suggested to start a fundraising for this purpose so we’ll pool more resources and make more families happy. We later decided to do it next year instead since we’ll be out of the country during the Christmas season this year (so it will be a bit challenging to handle all the logistics).
So we thought of something else. I call it a hybrid solution – we’ll still give something to our families, friends, and workmates, but will be more conscious of what we buy. This time, we’ll focus on gifts that give back (i.e. gifts that help other people and/or the environment, or support a cause / advocacy through a portion of the profits made from our purchase). After doing a quick research and through the help of fellow moms from Mommy Bloggers Philippines, I was able to put together a list for you.
- Human Nature – They are a well-known and multi-awarded social enterprise that’s proud to be pro-country, pro-poor, and pro-environment. When you purchase their Christmas gift sets, which range from PhP 132 to PhP 885, or any of their other products, you will be able to support the poor communities they help in partnership with Gawad Kalinga and other like-minded organizations.
- Rags2Riches – They are a reputable social enterprise that gives community artisans a financial lift by providing them a platform to sell their products. So if you like fashionable bags, wallets, pouches, purses, and many more, head on over to their online store or their physical store at UP Town Center to do some Christmas shopping.
- Messy Bessy – They are in the business of producing and carrying a line of natural and earth-friendly products for both home and personal care, and help at-risk and vulnerable teenagers and young adults at the same time. For as low as PhP 70, you can help them carry out their advocacy for social innovation by purchasing their products via their website. You may also check their Christmas sets for some great gift ideas.
- The Parenting Emporium – They are a young social enterprise that sells useful but cute products for expecting and new moms, and serves as a safe space for learning and connecting with other parents and families. On top of that, they commit to use 3% of all purchases to further their advocacies on breastfeeding and milk sharing, health and nutrition, and many others. Visit their website and Facebook page to find out more.
- Bayani Brew – When this social enterprise was established a few years ago, they set out on a mission to help Filipino farmers through farmland development and the use of innovative, sustainable and responsible practices. Every bottle you buy is guaranteed high-quality, flavorful and refreshing, and more importantly, allows you to join in their advocacy for the farming communities they work with. For details on where you can buy their products, please click this link.
- Gifts and Graces – This foundation’s main objective is to improve the economic status of women artisans in low-income communities by helping them package and sell their products. You can help bridge the market gap for their partner artisans by purchasing their products which include accessories, bags, and various decorative items. For a complete listing of their products, visit their online catalog.
- LoveHopeFaith – They are a social enterprise that sells watches at PhP 250 and shirts at PhP 300 each to raise funds to support and care for cancer patients. Half of the net proceeds is used for this life-saving advocacy. To date, they have more than 40 beneficiaries; some of them they have been helping since 2014. Find out more here.
I’m sure there are many other organizations out there that have made it their mission to make a difference in the lives of their adopted communities and targeted beneficiaries through the small businesses they set up. If you know of one or more, please feel free to comment below so I can include in the list.
Now, if you want to give a chance to an up-and-coming entrepreneur, please consider:
- Miss in the Kitchen – She is a former early education teacher who gave in to her passion for cooking and is now busy with her startup venture of making garlicky pork belly adobo in a jar. Apart from expertly making this classic dish, she intends to help the poor and needy. For every jar purchased, she will provide a meal to a hungry and homeless child this Christmas. For orders and more information, you may reach her through her Instagram account.
And if you’re feeling extra generous, why not donate to your favorite charity on top of giving your loved ones these gifts that give back? Stay tuned for my next article where I’ll feature my top picks of non-government organizations and foundations in the country.
In the meantime, happy Christmas shopping, everyone! 🙂