Holiday season is upon us! Festivities may look and feel different this year, but there are so many ways to continue spreading love and joy wherever you are.
At Elevate Destinations, we find joy in connecting people with incredibly impactful projects and communities all over the world. Through our work to design international travel experiences for nonprofits and social enterprises, we get to share and support our partners’ missions. Our inspiring donor travel clients and their partners address issues such as women’s rights and empowerment, environmental conservation, public health, food security, and human trafficking.
In an effort to support positive impacts this holiday season, we have gathered a list of gift ideas filled with beautiful, hand-made products that will directly support social impact initiatives around the globe. We have also compiled a list of some of our favorite books to broaden our readers’ horizons while still at home.
Join us in making the holidays more meaningful. Elevate your gift-giving this holiday season to create long-lasting change around the world. Happy and impactful shopping!
Gifts that support women and girls
Dining for Women Marketplace – Dining for Women (DFW), a global giving circle dedicated to transforming lives and eradicating poverty among women and girls in the developing world, has compiled a marketplace that features beautiful items handcrafted by local communities all over the world.
Anchal Project is one of DFW’s grantees in India with a mission of addressing the exploitation of women in the textile industry. Anchal supports the economic empowerment of artisans by investing in their professional and personal development and nurturing human connections.
RefuSHE Scarves – RefuSHE supports women impacted by trauma or conflict to express themselves creatively while learning tangible entrepreneurial skills. RefuSHE’s social enterprise is a step in the journey toward independence and a new life after war and conflict. Support women in the RefuSHE community by purchasing ethically, hand-made scarves for your loved ones. 70% of the 160 artisans who have been a part of the Artisan Collective are now economically independent.
Nomi Network is on a mission to end human trafficking by creating pathways to safe and sustainable employment. They train girls and women, empowering them to break cycles of slavery in their families and community. You can support their impactful work by shopping in their online shop, “Buy Her Bag Not Her Body” for gifts this year. The purchase of every product provides jobs for survivors and women at risk, supporting the greater movement to end modern-day slavery.
Global Fund for Women’s Organic Cotton Clothing – Beautiful, soft tops and t-shirts made from certified organic cotton with Global Fund for Women’s handmade designs. Each purchase supports GFW’s work in gender justice and equity by supporting grassroots, women-led organizations in countries all over the world.
Development in Gardening (DIG) African Fabric Notecards – DIG’s projects enable vulnerable and HIV-affected communities to meet their own needs and improve their well-being through nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Sales of these cards support the farmers who made them! For the food and cocktail lovers in your life, purchase DiG’s second Cocktails & Castoff CookZine, featuring 12 recipes from their favorite event chefs!
World Bicycle Relief (WBR) Coffee Beans – We are big fans of WBR, an organization that provides bicycles to entrepreneurs, health care workers, and students in rural areas. For every WBR Coffee Blend sold, Equator Coffees will donate $1.00 to WBR to support programs throughout rural parts of the world.
SmileTrain Holiday Cards – Print your family’s holiday cards with SmileTrain this year to support SmileTrain’s work in increasing access to cleft surgeries all over the world, while working with local hospitals and empowering local medical professionals.
Adopt a HeroRAT in honor of your loved ones through APOPO. APOPO’s scent detection animals, nicknamed ‘HeroRATs’ and ‘HeroDOGs’, help to rid the world of landmines and tuberculosis – returning safe land back to communities for development, and freeing people from serious illness so they can get back on their feet.
Gifts that support environmental conservation and sustainability
African People & Wildlife – With every purchase of a lion print or painting by Alison Nicholls, a large percentage of sales is donated to African People & Wildlife; one of Elevate Destinations’ inspiring partners that focuses on conservation and community development in Tanzania. Alison has a full line of Conservation Art; beautiful paintings inspired by her travels in Africa. She donates a large percentage of sales to African conservation initiatives.
GreenWood Carver’s Mallets – These mallets are crafted in a small workshop in Paya, Honduras through a unique initiative by GreenWood Global; a non-profit organization that promotes the sustainable use of timber resources in remote areas of Central and South America.
Gifts that support water, sanitation and hygiene
Splash is a social justice organization that serves as a catalyst for locally rooted, sustainable solutions to providing safe, clean drinking water to children all over the world. Support their work by purchasing products from their corporate partners below.
- MiiR is a registered B-corporation that gives a portion of all sales to organizations with sustainable methods of empowerment, like Splash. Over nine years, MiiR has given over $1,000,000 in grants to nonprofits. To date, MiiR has donated over $200,000 to Splash, supporting over 8,000 students and adults with access to clean water in Asia and Africa.
- Soapbox donates recycled bars of soap to communities in need both, locally and globally. For every product purchase made, Soapbox Soaps donates $0.08 to Splash to ensure that children have soap to wash their hands at school. To date, Soapbox Soaps has donated over $85,000 to Splash, to support their work in schools in Asia and Africa.
Gifts that support Human Rights
Goodweave – Looking for some beautiful textiles? Check out Goodweave certified partners. Any rug that has a Goodweave label means that no child, forced or bonded labor was used in the making of that product. Your rug purchase also supports the education of children who suffered from child labor to get back into school and ensures dignified work for adults in the textile industry.
Books that inspire
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai University by Katherine Boo – This narrative non-fiction book takes place in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement near the Mumbai airport. With intelligence, humor and deep insight into human connection, this book explores people’s lives amidst social change and the inequalities facing so many in India.
The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dar – “The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams.”
Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World by Dr. Anu Taranath – You may remember Dr. Anu Taranath from our Power Dynamics webinar earlier this year. Her inspiring book shows readers ways to grapple with their discomfort and navigate differences through accountability and connection, digging into the ethics and politics of our travel. This book may inspire you and your loved ones to think about how you can reshape the lens through which you explore the world.