Holiday Social Enterprise Guide

Posted on November 26, 2018

As the holidays approach, we are all running around trying to shop for the people we care most about. But, does Sally really need another mall-name sweater? Or would she appreciate something a little more this year? As you think about gift giving this holiday season, consider the impact of giving a gift that gives back. Your gift could be a second chance for a woman who has experienced trauma or a therapy session for a war veteran. Maybe it’s a way to feed a community that doesn’t have access to fresh food… Check out seven incredible social enterprises that are breaking barriers across the country and how you can support their causes, while finally crossing off some of the names on your gift list! We promise, Sally will love it!

Women’s Bean Project: Changing Women’s Lives

Women’s Bean Project is based in Colorado and teaches chronically unemployed women how to make nourishing products. They learn to stand tall, find their purpose, and break the cycle of poverty. Because when you change a woman’s life, you change her family’s life.

Women’s Bean Project offers a range of products from soups, coffee, popcorn, spice blends, sweets, and even dog treats!

Featured product: Meal Time Gift Basket, everyone will be asking for the ingredients to these recipes!

Impact: 93 percent of these formerly unemployed women secure employment within the local community a year later.

Headstrong: Healing the Hidden Wounds of War

Headstrong works to heal the hidden wounds of war for returning veterans. This organization provides unlimited mental health counseling and extensive resources to more than 600 veterans and counting! Check out their products which include: t-shirts, water bottles, and coffee mugs to see how you can help #stopthestigma

Featured product: Headstrong t-shirt

Impact: You get to look stylish while supporting veterans and ensuring they receive the resources they deserve.

Coalfield Development: Rebuilding the Appalachian Economy

With the rapid decline of the coal industry, Coalfield Development saw an opportunity to create change. They have created more than 40 on-the-job training positions and 200 professional certification opportunities, redeveloped more than 150,000 square feet of dilapidated property, and successfully launched five new businesses in real estate development, construction, wood working, agriculture and artisan trades – industries based on local assets and having real viability in the Appalachian region.

This holiday season, you can shop their woodworking online store.

Featured product: Medium size cutting board: Perfect for all that holiday meal prep!

Impact: Purchases like this have attracted more than 10,000,000 new investments to southern West Virginia.

Thistle Farms: Love Heals Every Body

Thistle Farms’ mission is to heal, empower, and employ survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. They accomplish this by providing women with safe and supportive housing, the opportunity for economic independence, and a strong community of advocates and partners.

Thistle Farms products include moisturizers, oils, apparel, books, tea, jewelry, and more! You can see all of their products here.

Featured product: Thistle Farms candle, it smells dreamy!

Impact: Funds from purchasing products like this candle have helped Thistle Farms to provide 9,215 nights of safe, supportive housing to women recovering from life on the streets, as well as 14,100 hours of counseling and therapy for survivors—ensuring their physical and mental well-being!

Akola: A First Job. A First Step. A New Life.

Akola is a nonprofit jewelry brand that empowers women in Uganda and Dallas, TX to re-create their life story, by creating beautiful jewelry. Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted by one of 500 women in poverty working to redesign the future of their families. 100 percent of Akola revenue is reinvested in its mission to help these women transform their families and communities.

Check out all of Akola’s products, including necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

Featured product: Choker Necklace: We’ll take one in ever color, please!

Impact: 100 percent of product revenues are reinvested in the social mission to empower women to transform their families and communities. Purchasing this necklace will provide the income for Akola women to provide basic needs for their family.

Bonton Farms: From Soil to Soul

Bonton Farms believes that while investing in the soil yields healthy plants, investing in the soul yields healthy people. They invest in the souls of people who live in the food desert of South Dallas, where 85 percent of men have been to prison, poverty is rampant, and jobs are scarce. Bonton Farms grows fresh food which creates jobs and ignites hope in a community that needs it the most.

Bonton Farms’ products include their line of shirts, hats, honey, and books!

Featured product: I Like Pig Butts and I Cannot Lie t-shirt, we can all get a good laugh out of this one, can’t we?

Impact: Gifting this shirt or other products from Bonton Farms brings hope and fresh food into this community in need.

Back on My Feet: Putting the Best Foot Forward

Back on My Feet combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment, and housing resources. This unique program model demonstrates that if you first restore confidence, strength, and self-esteem, individuals are better equipped to tackle the road ahead. For people in need, Back on My Feet provides practical training and employment resources for achieving independence.

You can purchase Back on My Feet running gear for your family and friends!

Featured product: Women’s technical athletic shirt, perfect for that morning winter breeze!

Purchasing this running gear helps Back on My Feet  provide housing and employment for 5,500+ individuals.