Monday, December 8, 2008

Saving Cash – Helping the World While Making Cool Purchases

With a change in the economy for the worse over the last several months, it seems important to buy locally. We get our milk from a local farm, and when we go out to eat, we choose a restaurant close to home that's not a chain. We have a little "Main Street" in our neighborhood, with several interesting boutiques which make gift-buying fairly simple. Just a two or three miles from home, we have Old Town Alexandria, which is chock-full of shops, many of which are unique. I want all of these businesses to survive the downturn in the economy.

On the other hand, I know that the whole world is suffering, not just those a few miles from my house. That's why I'm including a few other links to interesting businesses for you to check out, for your holiday shopping, or maybe just for humanitarian reasons.

  1. The Hunger Site – You can click here to get their sponsors to donate cups of food to the hungry. They sell Fair Trade items and explain the origin of the products. They also have a lot of items on sale right now. Check it out, click to get the sponsors to donate food on your behalf, and happy shopping!
  2. BeSweet – Products with a Conscious – "Be Sweet works with several job creation programs in South Africa by giving artisans the confidence and the means to support themselves and their families in an otherwise economically depressed region. The empowerment groups have grown to include over 200 villagers, mostly female members of the Xhosa tribe, who live in Cape Town, the Eastern Cape region and Johannesburg." I think their products look amazing! We are teaching our 7 year old daughter how to knit, and I am anxious to try out the free baby hat pattern. It's too adorable! In the meantime, they show you where you can find local boutiques that sell their products because they are not ready for online purchases yet.
  3. Pangea Market – This online store and actual boutique in Washington D.C. sells traditional high quality handicrafts made by artisans in developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America. They have some beautiful products at reasonable prices.

Do you have any other unique, humanitarian favorites to share? If you do, include the link, and a little description of the products. Thanks!

I don't think you'll find any discounts at or for these web sites, but these could be some of the most meaningful gifts you'll buy this season.

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