I absolutely love to give gifts to people. This time of year, I get so excited, and I start thinking about the perfect thing to give each person in my life well in advance. The amount of research I do could rival some of the papers I wrote in graduate school.
Over the past few years, I've begun to think differently about the way that I give. When we purchase a gift for someone, we are actually giving twice - because when we give our money away, that is also a gift that can transform someone's day, week, year, or even their life.
This year, when you purchase a gift, you also have the opportunity to give hope and provide opportunity to survivors of sex trafficking. Contrary to the popular myth, it is not extremely expensive to purchase high quality ethical products that you will love.
So I've put together this little gift guide to help you as you search for the perfect gift. These are some of my favorite products from Amirah's favorite brands employing and empowering survivors:
1) ReEnergize Set from Thistle Farms - $45
I love the combination of eucalyptus and mint. Great for both men & women, this gift set includes: Eucalyptus Mint Body Wash, Bath Soak, Shave Gel, & Tea Tree Mint Lip Balm. This comes from Thistle Farms, a justice enterprise based in Tennessee that employs survivors of trafficking, abuse, and addiction. Every time you purchase a product, you are both supporting the career of a survivor and supporting the recovery journey of another in one of their homes!
2) ACTS OF BRAVERY Journal from Bravely - $6.99
Need something for the creative writer in your life? Measuring at 5"x7", this slim, thread-bound, lined journal is small enough to fit in your purse or backpack, but useful for all your brave note-taking! Plus, it is made from recycled paper. Plus+plus, it is made by survivors. Bravely seeks to empower women recovering from sexual exploitation through employment. All of their products come with a life-giving message of hope. We're fans!
3) Dinner Napkins from Sari Bari - $42
This is the perfect item for that friend who is always hosting you! Sari Bari employs women escaping the sex industry in Kolkata's largest red light district. Each product is handmade from vintage, recycled saris. When the products are finished, the maker stitches her name tag in as her signature for finishing your new gift. I love these napkins, and what I love more is that Sari Bari includes the story of the woman who made your napkin set, showing you the impact you made on her life with this purchase. Eco-friendly and they come in many designs. This is definitely a buy-one-for-me, buy-one-for-you situation!
4) Haddie Circular Stud Earrings in gold or silver from Starfish Project - $32.99
Every woman I know has a go-to pair of earrings - that set she wears every normal day (and that her kids won't conveniently yank!). I love these studs from Starfish that come in both gold and silver. The Starfish Project provides holistic care to women escaping the sex industry in Asia. I had the privilege of meeting their leader, Jenny McGee, over the summer, who told me about their business model. Not only do they train women in jewelry making, but they also train them in every aspect of the business, so that they can employ as many survivors as possible!
5) The Weekender Scarf from Freeset - $30
Freeset employs survivors and at-risk women in India. The women who make these scarves are continuing the tradition of hand weaving in West Bengal, India, a true art form. The Weekender comes in seven different colors to choose from - a cozy item as the weather gets chilly! Freeset makes all sorts of apparel items and offers the opportunity of becoming your brand partner. At Amirah, this is our go-to company for all our t-shirt and canvas bag needs. Their items are high quality and their staff is incredibly attentive.
6) Walk In Freedom Leather Snap Cuff from Branded Collective - $40
I like this cuff as a great gift for your fashion-forward friend, man or woman. It comes in multiple sizes. BRANDED Collective works with survivors of trafficking in Nashville and they acquired their name by standing against one of the most brutal practices in the crime - branding. Most victims are branded by their traffickers through tattoos, burns, or cuts. Each item made at BRANDED includes the initials of the woman who made it, and when you receive your gift you can go to their website to read her story.
7) Mamuye Canvas Duffel from ABLE - $98
This fantastic leather-and-canvas bag is great for the nomad in your life and is named after one of the heroic women with whom ABLE partners. Based in Tennessee, this fashion company employs women in Ethiopia, Mexico, Peru, and Tennessee, giving them alternative job opportunities to help keep them out of the sex industry. Plus, this bag is airline-carry-on standard size!
8) The Gift of Hope to Amirah
There are those people in our lives who truly don't want a gift, or they'd rather see the money go elsewhere. Or perhaps you're looking to honor someone you love. You can give the gift of hope to a woman at Amirah in honor of someone special by donating at the link below. We will send you one of these beautiful handmade cards that you can give to that person, telling them what the gift you made in honor of them is doing for a survivor in recovery at Amirah. Plus, when you give in the month of December, your gift will be matched by a generous donor, up to $15,000.
Click Here to Give Hope in Honor of Someone Today
I hope you will be generous during this season of hope and use your purchase power to give hope, empowering a survivor of sex trafficking to a better life.