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Day 179: How to Change the World by Shopping!

I have discovered something very important. The world is a very small place and the 6 degrees of separation theory is alive and well. As we all know Twitter and Facebook and our blogging stretch across the world. The guest that I am featuring on 365give today lives pretty much in my back yard when you look at the world as a whole. She lives just a few short miles / km from me but we met over a twitter chat and are becoming fast friends. She to is a working Mom that wanted to give back to the world. She is doing just that by Giving Gifts. What better way to make a living by giving back!

Day 179: Day 179 by Lisa Pozen

Giving Gifts and how it Gives:

I was on Maternity leave with my son and watching a lot of TV 4 years ago when I heard the phrase “buy the change you want to see in the world” and as a shopper (there is no point denying it – I love shopping) it really resonated with me. I like feeling good about my purchases and have always tried to shop ethically. I thought it would be amazing if someone gathered lots of products that really made a difference and brought them together in one place. I named the idea Giving Gifts and got the domain name right away, but it took 2 more years and 2 more babies and 2 more maternity leaves before I got the courage to open Giving Gifts officially.

My standards for items sold at Giving Gifts are very high. They need to be eco friendly and/or ethically made and they need to be fun and modern and amazing quality – definitely something I would buy my best friends and their kids and oh, yeah, the important part they need to “give” in some way.

Some of the items at Giving Gifts make a real difference in people’s lives through their purchase. Beautiful wool Kenana animals are made by 300+ women that are part of a co-operative in Kenya.  As a result of their work, they have access to electricity and health care and can work with their children playing close by. Blabla dolls are similar, but fair-trade made in Peru. Dabbawallla backpacks and lunchbags are fair-trade made at a women-owned factory in Taiwan.

Other gives, are that the company is making a difference through their donations, like Little Jots, handwritten notes which give to BC’s Children’s Hospital Foundation or Envirosax Roll-Up Bags that are ethically made and give to many environmental organizations or West Paw Dog and Cat toys which are eco friendly and made by an incredible company in Montana.

And some gives are to the environment, like Earthlust Waterbottles which are ethically made and beautifully designed and bottled water is horrible for our planet, or Piggy Paint natural nail polish and Clementine natural art supplies both made in the USA without chemicals so our kids can play safely. Another example is PlanToys which are ethically made out of old rubberwood trees by a company that has a strong commitment to the environment.

One more way that every item purchased through Giving Gifts helps, is through our support of Carli’s Kids. Carli Travers is a woman from Coquitlam, BC that moved to Uganda and with her husband adopted 12 street kids. 10% of Giving Gifts’ profits are donated to Carli’s Kids to help build the Abetavu Children’s village for street kids in Uganda. The Abetavu village when complete, will house 100 street kids in family-type environment. They will be cared for by grandmothers.

I like to think that when people pick out gifts, whether it is for a friend or their child or even themselves, if they know the company that made it really cares and that the gift is ethically made and good for the environment, it will make giving even more special. Every purchase from Giving Gifts includes a card that lets people know how their gift gives. As consumers we make choices with all our purchases, so buy the change you want to see in the world!

365give will soon be hosting a Giving Gifts party that will raise money for a great cause. Way to go Lisa you have inspired us all! Thanks for being a guest on 365give.

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)