Presents with a Purpose

Dana Wilkosz


When three American tourists stopped to watch a woman roll beads from slips of paper in Uganda in 2004, little did they know that the lives of thousands of Ugandans would be changed forever. To help the woman—and others—find a market for their jewelry, the friends bought several hundred pieces to sell, and the nonprofit BeadforLife was born. Today, nearly 100 percent of the proceeds from the recycled-paper jewelry go directly back to helping Ugandan women out of poverty. ($18 for green necklace, $13 for multicolored,


One of the largest Fair Trade organizations in the U.S., SERRV works with low-income artisans in more than 30 countries. The group helps set fair prices for the work and then purchases the products to sell—paying the artists in full, regardless of whether the items get resold. These hand-knit wool mittens and scarf are made by students at the Kumbeshwar Technical School in Nepal, which provides vocational training and childcare services to needy members of the community. ($38 for scarf, $18 for mittens,

Native Trails

This California-based home décor store, provides artisans in Central Mexico with a sustainable income they couldn’t acquire locally. Native Trails is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of Pure Talavera products this year (like these tiles made out of sustainable materials in Puebla, Mexico.) to a nonprofit that provides low-interest loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. ($39 for 2 trivets, $49 for 4 coasters,

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