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Shopping at a small business is good. Shopping at a small business that gives back to the community is even better. Whether you’re looking for Christmas presents, birthday presents or even a few you presents, these stories will use your money for good.
We love Aggie’s Arts! Aggies Arts artisans, currently living in Ugandan slums, make products which are then brought to the U.S. to sell. Proceeds from those sales go directly back to purchasing more products from the artisans, which helps lift them out of poverty, graduate them out of the program and into entrepreneurship. You can find everything from necklaces and bracelets, handbags and scarves, to Christmas ornaments. Read about one Aggie’s Arts artisan here.
Kisoro Kids funds different projects for schools in Uganda. You can buy goats, chickens, pigs — really necessary things in Uganda — in someone’s name to give an extra-meaningful gift this year. Or you can help fund a project. For example, each project they have going on is broken down into smaller tasks. You can fund one of these tasks knowing it will go towards building a new school. Five desks for a school in Uganda is only $150. You can plaster the walls of a classroom for $225. Read more about Kisoro Kids here.
Recentered, a nonprofit that helps young adults who are hurting from an abusive or destructive past, roasts coffee to help pay for their residential program. Once men get out of rehab, there’s a period of uncertainty between the highly regulated schedule of rehab programs and the freedom and reality of the outside world. That’s where Recentered comes in. You can order the coffee on their website.
Magic City Woodworks
Like Recentered, Magic City Woodworks helps young men who aren’t in need of rehab, but they aren’t fully ready to be on their own yet either. Lawrence Sheffield, a former firefighter, started the ministry to teach men carpentry skills while they also learn how to be good employees. Check out their awesome woodworking projects in addition to the softest t-shirts ever.
Save the Storks
Save the Storks is another Authentik favorite. They have mobile sonogram units that reach pregnant women before they go into abortion clinics. After the sonogram, they offer adoption and parenting counseling for the woman. You can buy coffee, buttons, mugs and keychains online for your favorite mother, father or just anyone who loves babies.
Grace and Lace
Grace and Lace was one of the very few companies that made it on the hit ABC show, Shark Tank, and one of even fewer to get an investment from a “shark.” Barbara Corcoran, a multimillionaire real-estate tycoon, partnered with Grace and Lace, and within a few days of the episode’s airing, they had over one million dollars in sales revenue. Proceeds from the socks and boutique-style clothes go to build orphanages in India. Read more here.
Jewelry designer Helena Cho uses her creativity and desire to encourage others to inspire, spread the Gospel and ultimately make a difference. Her company, Good Work(s), sells leather wrap bracelets to remind people what is important in life. Helena donates 25 percent of profits to different charities. Find out more here.
Vi Bella Jewelry
Here’s how Vi Bella works: On-site managers in Haiti choose employees based on need and desire to work. Each Vi Bella woman is taught on-site to make jewelry, is paid fair wages, given access to Bible study resources and even, as an added benefit, given the tuition for their kids’ schooling. The women learn not only the trade of making jewelry but also, for the first time in their lives, learn how to work. Each piece of jewelry is made by a woman who is enjoying peace and new life as a result of the opportunity for employment. Find out more about Vi Bella here.
Ornaments for Orphans
Men and women living in impoverished communities make beautiful Christmas ornaments for Ornaments for Orphans in order to earn money. These hard working men and women — truly global artisans — are paid fairly so they can protect and support their families, invest in their communities, and hopefully find lasting peace. Read more here.