Social justice through gift-giving

During the holidays — and any time you want to celebrate a special occasion — why not consider gifts that work for social justice? Fair-trade items pay the craftspeople who make them a fair price for their labor. Here are a few sources to consider:

  • SERRV: Fair-trade craft items from all over the world.
  • Equal Exchange: Fair-trade coffee, tea, and chocolate, sold at cost on Sunday mornings at church by the NSUU Tuesday Morning Small Group Ministry. Why not make your own gift basket?
  • UNICEF: Cards, calendars, gifts, and handcrafted fair-trade items — proceeds help provide children in more than 150 countries with medicine, food, clean water, education, and protection from violence and exploitation.
  • Native Harvest: White Earth Land Recovery Project of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) — wild rice, birchbark baskets, maple syrup, hominy, buffalo sausage, and more.

If you are looking for a gift for the person who doesn’t need a thing, these organizations will accept your donation in honor of someone and apply it to a specific need:

  • Heifer Project: Give a flock of chicks, a hive of honeybees, tree seedlings, a sheep, a goat, and more. You’ll receive a card to let your honoree know about the gift.
  • Seva Foundation: A gift of $50 will provide a 15-minute cataract surgery and aftercare that restores sight to a person; $100 supports  a Native American community to implement its own programs to achieve a diabetes-free future.

If you would like to suggest an addition to this list, contact Lois Markham at lamarkham {at} comcast {dot} net.

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