Aug 19, 2015

Happy Humanitarian Day!

Happy World Humanitarian Day!  Oh, you weren't aware of this holiday?  Me either, but according to my Kid President calendar, that's what today is....and who am I to argue with Kid President?

A humanitarian, by definition, is a person who is concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare.  When you put it in such simple terms, shouldn't we all strive to add "humanitarian" to our resume???  I truly believe the foundation of everything that is wrong in our world right now boils down to people not caring enough about other people.  Let's change that!

I'm not talking about going on mission trips (although, if you're being led to do that, DO IT!).  I'm not talking about adopting needy children into your home (although, if you feel like that's the path that's calling you, DO IT!).  I'm talking about very simple things that we can do to help our brothers and sisters...without even leaving our computers or smart phones.

Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to attend an IF: Gathering event at a local church in my town.  I was completely turned on to the idea of buying from philanthropic companies that are doing more than just producing a good for purchase.  Do I need shoes?  Why yes.  I happen to wear shoes every day.  So why not buy shoes that also do something for someone else?  Do I need jewelry?  Probably not.  But I love to buy jewelry.  I can rock a pair of flashy earrings.  So why not buy jewelry that's helping to raise an individual out of poverty and helping to rewrite their life story and that of future generations?  Ladies and gentlemen, we're blessed people.  We live in a privileged country where we have the opportunity to earn a living wage to support ourselves and our families.  Not only that, but most of us are able to buy "fun" purchases for ourselves here and there.

Today, on World Humanitarian Day, I thought it might be fun to highlight some of my very favorite companies that are giving back to others.


This isn't a new business to you.  I know you've heard about TOMS for basically ever now.  You've seen the shoes.  Heck, you probably own a pair.  But since really diving into the world of businesses giving back, I've been amazed at how much more the TOMS company does beyond their "get a pair, give a pair" motto.

The shoes, of course, are fabulous.  For every pair you buy, TOMS donates a pair to a child in need.  I'm currently obsessed, obsessed, obsessed with these wedge boots.

TOMS Desert Wedges

Am I cool enough to pull these off?  Absolutely not.  But I want 'em real bad, guys.

Beyond the TOMS shoes, they also sell eyewear.  For every pair you buy, TOMS gives a set of glasses to a person in need.  Can you imagine not being able to see well, but never having the funds available to change that?

But in addition to the shoes and the eyewear and the coffee they sell that sends a week's supply of clean drinking water to a person in need, TOMS makes and sells bags.  And with the purchase of each bag, TOMS delivers materials and training that is needed to create safer birthing practices in other countries.  Did you know that infection is the leading killer of new moms and newborns across the nation?

I don't know about you, but when it came time to birth my babies, I had access to a clean hospital with skilled doctors and nurses that knew how to care for me and my babies.  The majority of expectant moms across the globe don't have this opportunity.  As a result, many of their babies don't make it through childbirth.  Can you imagine?  All you have to do is buy a cute bag from TOMS, and you can help change that.

The Root Collective

The Root Collective is a shoe company that works with artisans, primarily in Guatemala.  TRC is adamant that your address shouldn't determine your employment.  Many of these people are able-bodied, intelligent individuals that WANT to work, but because of being born into slum conditions, cannot find employment.  They can't get a living wage and can't afford education to help better themselves to raise themselves out of poverty.  It's a vicious cycle.  The Root Collective came in and recognized that people in these conditions are skilled workers that want to work.  So they got to work on making shoes.  Beautiful shoes, y'all.  I follow them on Instagram and drool over their flats on the daily.  I haven't bought myself a pair yet, but it's going to happen.  Even if it means collecting pennies for a year until I can afford them.  Currently, the pair that I wish would magically manifest itself in my closet:

Gaby Flats in Mustard

Not only that, but today is their founder Bethany's birthday and they're offering 10% off with a referral code!  Here's the coupon code:  <--click and="" here="" nbsp="" p="" shopping="" start="">

Better Life Bags

Better Life Bags was started when a woman named Rebecca started making diaper bags to combat her boredom during her final few months of her pregnancy.  The bags were popular, so she opened an Etsy account and donated 10% of her profits to help low income entrepreneurs start businesses through microloans.  Pretty soon, her business grew and she turned to her community, a low income area of Detroit, for help.  She noticed that the women working for her were experiencing drastic changes in their lives, thanks to the income they were making through the company.  The company has grown and Rebecca continues to support her Detroit community.

These bags are a custom made product.  You pick the bag you want and then the fabric and leather colors you want.  You can add pockets, tassels...completely customized.  I had been eyeing one for awhile, following the company on Instagram (do you see a trend here with me?  I love me some IG.), when they offered up a coupon code.  I went on the site, started designing my bag, sent my sister pictures of all the bags I was trying to decide from....and then I closed out of the site.  We were about to have a new baby and I didn't actually need a new bag.  I was wanting something smaller to carry around instead of transferring my stuff back and forth from the diaper bag and my own giant purse, but buying one was not a necessity.  My sister knew I didn't buy the bag I wanted and she, very sneakily (is that a word?), went on the site, designed the bag like I showed her and then gave it to me as a baby shower gift.  Isn't she sweet?  I have the Finley laptop bag.  It's EXTREMELY well-made.  I seriously can't say enough about the construction of this bag.  The leather is sturdy, the fabric is thick.  It's just a very, very well constructed bag.  I can't say the same about the $10 bag I found in the Walmart clearance section.  The bad part about owning this bag?  I want another one. 

Noonday Jewelry

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, I know you've heard me talk about Noonday.  I adore this company.  They're working with artisans from all around the globe that make jewelry to help earn a fair wage in their community.  There's SO many stories of success and beating poverty and raising spirits...I can't even begin to share them all here.  If you want to read about how Noonday was started, click here.  If you want to read about some of the artisans and how Noonday is changing their life story, click here.  If you want to see how your jewelry is made lovingly by hand, click here.  If you want to see the countries that Noonday artisans are located and how you can help make an impact across the globe, click here.  I could talk on and on about this company and why I feel passionate about it. I know jewelry and handbags are not a necessity and that they're not for everyone.  But if you're going to wear jewelry anyway, why not make it jewelry that has a story and helps another individual??  It doesn't hurt that the jewelry and bags are GORGEOUS, guys.  Seriously.  Gorgeous.  I've not been disappointed with a single item I've ever ordered and I have multiple returning that has to tell you something.

Today, I'm sporting the Metric Cuff bracelet that I quite literally wear every single day and a pair of the Sea Stone Earrings, now a retired item, that I borrowed from my sister---a very happy returning customer.  

If you read about Noonday (devangaddie and check out the jewelry and fall in love (because, duh, it's soooo pretty), contact me! I'm looking for someone to host a trunk show in September!

I hear you all.  I hear the same things every time when it comes to buying items like these or donating money.  "It's too expensive."  Tell me something.  Would you rather buy a $30 purse from Target, that was probably made in a factory....or would you rather spend a little more and buy a purse that was made by hand by a woman in another country that is working for a company so she can put food on her family's table?  A purse that has an honest to goodness story?  Would you rather buy a pair of shoes from Shoe Carnival for $50, that was slapped together on an assembly line.....or would you rather pay a $30 more and buy a pair that was made by a skilled artisan that wouldn't have the opportunity to make a fair wage if it weren't for customers like you buying his shoes?

"What about people here at home?" I can't argue with you there.  There are needy people everywhere.  So go out in your community, find those people and DO SOMETHING about it.  I'm not about to tell you that you should buy a pair of shoes from TOMS instead of going into your community and helping the needy there. 

The companies I talked about are just options for you to be able to help your fellow man by doing something you probably do often anyway---online shopping.  Give them as gifts.  Treat yourself.  I promise you'll feel better buying something that's going to give back and make a real difference in someone's life than you ever did about buying that bag from the Big Box Store.

It's just like the Sherman Brothers said in the song "It's a Small World:"

"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.
 It's a world of hopes, it's a world of fears.
 There's so much that we share
that its time we're aware
 it's a small world after all."
It's a big planet, but a small world.  What are you doing to make a difference?  Happy Humanitarian Day, friends.


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