Dustin and I have a weird relationship with Christmas. A couple of years ago we didn’t celebrate it. Last year we did but we had a few rules. This year I don’t know what we’re doing. I made a list so I guess we’re full on celebrating? Only time will tell on that one. We try real hard, when we can, to purchase with intention. Sometimes Target wins, though. We are only human. I do believe there is such power in how we spend our money and where we do it. So we research and we find new companies and we try. Here’s my new list of companies who are using their influence and the dollar for good. You can check out last year’s list here and here.
Mission Lazarus is all about coffee and leather and Honduras. They have a vocational school and an orphanage and agriculture programs, and each purchase helps fund each of these programs and helps Mission Lazarus continue the work they are doing in Honduras. “The Mission Lazarus social enterprise program exists to empower local Hondurans, who would otherwise not have the opportunity, to learn artisan skills and sustainable business development training in efforts to advance their overall education.” Their coffee is real good and their leather is to die for. You can’t lose.
Funny story about Honduras: I was supposed to spend a whole summer in Honduras when I was in college. I got there and didn’t want to anymore for a gazillion reasons. My parents said they would not change my flight or pay for that to happen so I needed to get over it. They also said that if I did somehow get my flight changed to not call them again until I got to Miami. I can play that game. I told a friend in Honduras my predicament, he took me to a doctor who gave me a “diagnosis” that said I had stomach and intestinal issues and if I didn’t get back to America in 48 hours I could die. (WHAT!?) They let me change my flight free of charge. I’m pretty sure my parents were stunned when I did indeed call them from Miami. I love that story. I love Honduras. I love Mission Lazarus.
Market Colors is a super cool company with really great products. (The scarves, though. And those iPhone covers. I can’t.) Market Colors is working with men and women all over Africa; Uganda, Namibia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi. They partner and collaborate with local craftsmen in each of these countries, producing really beautiful products. “Market Colors was started because I believe where we shop can make a difference. It was founded to make a lasting impact for families throughout Africa…. We exist to make a difference in the lives of craftsmen throughout the world. We call it Handmade Impact.”
Little Loves is one of my most favorite new finds. It started as an adoption fundraiser, selling hand designed tees. But because why not do some more things, they decided to give a portion of the proceeds from each product sold to Abide Family Center in Uganda that focuses on family preservation and orphan prevention. So many good things.
Miriam Designs is all about hope and restoration and really pretty jewelry. They employ women in Nashville who have survived lives of addiction. Each piece is handmade by sweet women who have stories to tell. I love everything about it.
This one also started as an adoption fundraiser but over time has morphed into something really big and really cool. I like this one because every month she gives a percentage of profits to a different organization “working for the good of others.” I think it’s kind of a cool concept. I mean, one can never have too many headbands and scarves, right? Right.
The Shine Project is really kind of awesome. They are based and work with at risk youth in Phoenix, Arizona. Threads is a project under The Shine Project which employes at risk youth and helps them pay their way through college. “Threads is a cause driven business that changes the future of at risk youth. They come from various backgrounds, but all have one thing in common, they want to break the cycle. By employing them, we instill values of self reliance and hard work. They are paid fair wages for the bracelets they make, and in turn are able to pay their way through school. Many of Threads employees are first generation college students. They dream of becoming nurses, broadcasters, writers and engineers.” So awesome, right? We got my mom a bracelet from here for her birthday and it was loved by all.
There ya go. Happy Christmas list making, y’all!