HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING MAKING YOUR HEAD SPIN?
I'm guessing I'm probably not the only one who feels overwhelmed at times during the busy holiday season. For me one of my biggest issues is deciding on what to get for each person on my list and choosing something that they will actually need and love. There's also the looming thought in the back of my mind as well in regards to those who aren't as fortunate as during the holidays; they probably aren't worrying so much about gifts- as they are their next meal, shelter, or clothing.
The numbers are quite staggering: here in the U.S. alone, there were over 578,000 people that were homeless and over 45,000 children & youth were homeless in 2014, according to endhomelessness.org. These numbers don't account for the 46.7 million people in the U.S. [15%] that were in poverty & 48.1 million Americans that lived in food insecure households in 2014 [feedingamerica.org]. Finding these recent statistics really saddened me and it brings to light that we still really do have a problem when it comes to overall poverty, hunger, and homelessness.
I may not be close to a wealthy individual, but I'm not worrying about when or if my next meal is going to come either! For this reason I think it's important from a personal standpoint, to give back when I can and keep others that aren't so fortunate in mind- especially in challenging times like the holidays. There are many ways that you can give back and a lot of charitable organizations out there both locally, nationally, and globally.
Unfortunately there are also a lot of companies that don't necessarily utilize what you're giving properly or place it where it's really needed. This has caused me to be somewhat cautious to whom I give, but that's doesn't mean that there are great organizations out there who do honest work and actually want to really help those in need. I recently came across one in particular that stands out and I wanted to share a little bit about them , what they have to offer, plus an extra offer to all of my readers [*hint: there might be a little something to give away!]
What does all of this have to do with beauty exactly?! Well plenty in my book ;) Beauty for me, starts from within. I've always felt that even if a person has what society may consider to be fantastic physical looks, it doesn't always mean they are showing their true beauty. You can see this quite easily in places like the Hollywood realm,where stars and other famous people are quite dedicated to being outwardly beautiful and sometimes it seems that is really all that they are concentrated on. Being beautiful on the outside doesn't matter all that much, if you don't have similar beauty on the inside!
World Vision utilizes the majority of the funds they receive on actual programs that assist children, families, and the communities that need help- that stood out for me right away. They proudly display this on the landing page of their site worldvision.org as well. A mere 10% of their receive funds goes to fundraising and 5% to management and general expenses- the remaining 85% goes right where it's needed and should go- to those who in dire need of assistance!
World Vision is also an accredited charity with the BBB and a member of the ECFA [Evangelical Council of Financial Responsibility] which holds its members to high standards in regards to their financial management, governance, and fundraising practices. The ECFA has been in existence for over 35 years and requires ALL of its members to meet ALL of its standards- continually. The non-profit organizations that are currently out there, rarely have both of these credentials and if they do- the funds may not be necessarily going to the right places.
If you want to see exactly what World Vision spends their money on, you can see their actual financial reports right on their website and you can see them from the beginning of the non-profit's inception. Again, not something you would expect to see- especially with such openness! World Vision understands that there are many individuals who are in need around the world as well- if you would like to help those in other countries, they may this a possibility too.
But what they offer isn't just to take your money- you can choose to have you money donated to give animals [that can provide wool, milk & eggs for example], to build a water-well, or for a sewing machine. This is just a sliver of what they offer, but you can see from just the few things that I mentioned that they extend real help that will change people's lives for the better :)
WANT TO GIVE A HANDCRAFTED GIFT FOR THE HOLIDAY + HELP SOMEONE IN NEED?
THE BEAUTY CLOSET RECOMMENDS:
Mango Wood Beaded Bracelet
If you've been seeking that perfect gift to give to a good friend, mother, or sister- then this is the way to go! Not only do you get to snag a wonderful gift, but you are helping out someone in need at the same time :) This is a win-win for anyone and sure to please even the pickiest of tastes! The uniqueness and hand-made quality is something that impressed me; I don't consider myself to be an expert when it comes to handmade jewelry, however I have made some of my own in the past and understand that it take more skill than one might think.
It's very tedious work and one small mistake can mean starting the process again :0 This bracelet is handcrafted with mango wood in Indonesia by a creative community on the island of Java- which in turn, provides sustainable income and care for the children of the community. When you make a $45 donation, you may choose this gift for yourself or to give to someone else for the upcoming holiday season...it's totally up to you. I really like this option myself as it allows me to help someone, while at the same time scoring a unique, hand-made item for a friend or family member-it's also tax-deductible :)
The overall quality of the craftsmanship is excellent and 7 beautifully-stranded multi-colored sets of beads are connected to each side of the wooden clasp, to create a one-of-a-kind accessory! This is something that goes well with almost any outfit and even managed to fit my tiny, slender wrist. I often have issues with bracelets fitting me because of my thin wrists, but this bracelet fit perfectly :) If you've got an average or even larger wrist/hand, no worries there either as the strands have a stretching ability that should adjust to most sizes with no issue.
MORE HANDCRAFTED GIFTS FROM WORLD VISION:
There were some other super cute gifts included in the Handcrafted Gifts section that I wanted to share as well; I know that the Mango Bracelet may not fit everyone's style or budget, but there are many items to choose from in this section of the Gift Catalog and World Vision site. Make sure to check out my Top 4 Picks below!
BUT WAIT...THERE'S MORE!!!
Score this super cute hand-made item for yourself...or for someone special in your life...for FREE! That's right- The Beauty Closet will be hosting a giveaway starting TODAY and ONE lucky reader will win their very own Mango Wood Beaded Bracelet :)