Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It is the season to give back

The holiday season is the right time to talk about my two favorite non profit organizations.  

I highly recommend shopping for X'mas gifts at Ten Thousand Villages - at their local store in the Main Street at Exton, across from Maggie Moo's, or if you prefer, shop online.  Villages is a 501c3 organization that markets fairly traded handicrafts from all over the world.  Gifts from here are highly appreciated because they give three times - once to the receiver who gets a beautiful unique handcrafted gift, once to the artisan who gets fair living wages for their labor and once to support the organization, based in Lancaster county PA, that has been relentlessly pursuing its mission with a passion for over 65 years!  Please commit to buying at least one gift this year from Ten Thousand Villages.  I promise it will be a truly rewarding experience and you will be back for more!

If you have someone on your list who does not truly need anything, consider a Kiva gift certificate.  Kiva is a 501c3 organization based out of San Fransisco, CA, that connects people through lending to alleviate poverty.  We have all heard of microfinance organizations and this one is a retail model that has been spectacularly successful!  You can directly lend as little as $25 to an entrepreneur in one of over 54 countries and provide capital for their small business.  The incredible part is, it is a loan, so when it is repaid, you can re-lend or withdraw the money as desired. 

The idea behind both these organizations is sustainable philanthropy - helping the underprivileged break the vicious circle of poverty and charity, by helping them help themselves.   If you have any questions about both the organizations, please write to me and I will be delighted to get back to you with more information.

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