In an effort to put our holiday $’s to good use, we visited the Giving Marketplace at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today. From handmade jewelry to cranberry-orange chocolate bars to coconut body lotions, various non-profits highlighted their good work and offered their products to purchase, all with proceeds going towards making a difference around the world.
First stop for us was, of course, Theo Chocolate with free samples and an interesting story to be shared. I have seen their large chocolate bars in the local stores for purchase but had no idea that they were made locally in Fremont (free factory tours!) and that they also support the growers in East Congo enabling a better life. Win-win! Theo Chocolate
Alaffia was founded in 2004 to alleviate poverty and empower communities in Togo, West Africa. Their creamy and fragrant body washes and moisturizing locations were amazing-I took advantages of samples so Thom and I could experience the shea and coconut-based products that are handcrafted to nourish the body and spirit. Sold! Someone’s getting an Alaffia gift in their stocking for Christmas. Shhhh….. Alaffia
Thom stopped by the Bike Works table to discuss how they promote bicycles as a vehicle for change to empower youth and build resilient communities. Launched in 1996 by a local Seattle group, volunteers provide services for over 2,000 adults and youth each year. If you think about it, lack of reliable transportation can have a huge effect on our lives. By providing a bicycle to someone in need, you can change a life. Bike Works
If you haven’t checked out the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation yet, go. There are exhibits that interest adults AND children. Very interactive and thought-provoking. In this crazy time where all we can talk about is hate and unrest, it is refreshing to go and see all the good work that this foundation provides to the world. Taking on the real problems that affect lives, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is tackling the big issues of water, poo, natural disaster response, etc. Wouldn’t it be cool if our government cared about this as much? Bill or Melinda Gates for President!!!
As I’ve decided this year to make a difference with my holiday shopping, our annual Christmas PJ’s will come from Sudara, founded in 2005 to assist women in India trying to escape the sex slave trade. Hundreds of women are trained and provided with a safe work environment to heal and prosper. I can’t wait to wear my punjammies with pride on Christmas morning. Sudara
I also want to support small businesses at home. Instead of driving to the mall and shopping at the big box stores, I’ll be seeking out those little independent stores in Seattle and Boise to fill out my shopping list this year. Yes, it may cost a bit more but it’s worth it. Happy shopping and happy holidays to all!