More Gifts That Give Back

When Nathalie, Carol, Marcelle and I started 4Mothers, we had a vision of being a “virtual watercooler” where parents could come to hear different perspectives, offer advice, share ideas and learn from each other.  We always joke about how great it would be to overhear someone in the school yard say, “Oh, did you read 4Mothers today?”.

On Monday, I posted Gifts That Give Back.  My intention to was shed light on organizations committed to empowering women and educating others through artisan products.  I listed some of favorites: Live FashionABLE, Eat My Words and Two Penny Blue.  At the end of the post, I asked you to share some of your favourite Gifts That Give Back.

The few responses that I received reinforced the basic foundation of 4Mothers: this is a site to share ideas and learn new perspectives.

A reader reached out to me through email and shared her story of a recent trip to Africa inspired by a speaker she heard give a talk about Maasai culture at a fundraising event.  During her trip, that was organized in part by Me To We /Free The Children, she was immersed in Maasai culture.  This was no touristy trip.  She walked with the warriors, fetched water and learned beading from several local women.

She saw first hand how Me To We supports local artisans by selling their wares through the Me To We website.  By doing so, these women are empowered and enabled to care for their families.

Take a minute to explore the website and you will find artisanal gifts for everyone on your list, like these Ugandan stuffed animals ($24.99) that are perfect for the little ones in your life.

The Tatu Three Wrap bracelet ($29.99) and the Pamoja Unity bracelet ($49.99) are sure to put a smile on any woman’s face.

Another reader sent me the link to a fabulous website called Cause and Object.

The site features a product each day that gives back. To kick off Movember and to benefit prostate cancer research, the Urban Demistache Mustache necklace ($42) was highlighted on November 1.

Even though Halloween is over, if you have a super hero who loves to play dress-up consider this Pip and Bean cape ($45).  For every cape purchased, Pip and Bean will donate a cape to a patient at one of the children’s hospitals in Columbus, Ohio.

I hope you take a minute to share your favourite Gifts That Give Back in the comment section!


Gifts That Give Back

With Thanksgiving and Halloween past, for many of us, December marks the start of the holiday season and gift giving.

4Mothers are all about gifts that give back and from now until the end of the year we will highlight some of our favourites.

Two Penny Blue

Founded in 2010 by designer Marie Whitney, Two Penny Blue is known for their luxury, limited edition blazers in addition to an impressive assortment of beautifully crafted jewelry, bags and umbrellas.

Each season Marie offers her clients a unique collection in limited quantities.  The blazers (starting at $275) come in four distinct styles and a variety of colours, but the attention to detail is nothing short of bespoke finery. I purchased the Opal Appliqué Clutch (now $59.25) and it was my go-to bag this summer when heading out without my usual mom-satchel.

For every jacket purchased, Two Penny Blue will donate a school uniform to a girl in Africa in need.  By purchasing a uniform these girls are afforded the opportunity to attend educational institutions where otherwise they’d be denied based on their inability to pay for the required dress.  In Sub-Saharan Africa it is estimated that close to 24 millions girls do not go to school and Two Penny Blue is making it their mission to lower that number because educating girls is the most effective way to overcome poverty. (image credit: Two Penny Blue)


FashionABLE is a non-profit organization committed to empowering African women exploited by poverty.  Founded by the force behind the Mocha Club, Barrett Ward, after he witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of women forced to work as sex workers.  Ward was moved to make a difference in the lives of these women and partnered with “Women At Risk” an organization committed to the rehabilitation and support of sex-workers.

For every scarf (starting at $28) purchased, jobs are created.  Women at-risk, coupled with other Ethiopian resources are employed and the product is made.  The money from the scarf is then re-invested into the community to further support women living in poverty and to provide additional job training that helps to restore the dignity of women who are no longer prostituting themselves to feed their family.

There are some special women on my list who will be receiving these beautifully crafted scarves from Live FashionABLE this holiday season. (image credit: Live FashionABLE)

Eat My Words

Do you have people on your shopping list who have absolutely everything?  Everyone eats!  Why no gift them a dozen of the most gorgeous cupcakes you’ve ever seen delivered in a signature blue hatbox?  They are doubly sweet because the monies raised from the sale of these confectionaries go directly to supporting the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Eat My Words was founded by South African native, Jeanne Grierson in 2001 and she has since been joined by her daughter Sascha.  Both women are committed to a world without AIDS and have dedicated much of their lives to supporting the HIV-AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Eat My Words is a gift guaranteed to put a smile on the face of even the most discerning recipients. (image credit: Eat My Words)

How about you?  Do you have any favourite “gifts that give back?”  Please share!