With Autumn's arrival (in most places) it means the count down to gift giving season is here. The last few years we have really cut back on the gifts we give. We, like most people don't really need a thing. As I get older I would rather have your companionship, your friendship and lunch out so we can chat. However, it is still nice to send something to family and friends far away just to let them know you are thinking of them. With this in mind I try to send something that will be meaningful, something that helps others. I believe this post is very similar to one I had last year about this time so I hope you don't mind the repetition.
I want to introduce you to Casey's Cookies, located not very far from where I live. Casey is a lovely young woman with developmental delays. Her parents created this bakery to help employ young adults with special physical or development delays. It gives these young people a place to work and feel valued, and from what I hear the cookies are delicious. I sent these out last year and they were a big hit. Order early so your family/friends have time to savor the yummy cookies before they eat too many sweets during the holidays.
The Women's Bean Project is another non-profit organization helping women who are unemployed or impoverished, make immediate income and prepare them for job readiness. It is a great organization where you can order some yummy gift baskets or beautiful jewelery. Please pop in and see what wonderful work they are doing.
Praols story bracelets and more is another fantastic site where you can order inspirational jewelery made with love from Mother's in low income situations. This company helps these women to stay at home and work so they do not have to pay for very costly child care with there already restricted incomes.
All these companies help people right here in the United States. But if you are looking for something international you can never go wrong with Heifer International. One of my all time favorite ways to help on a larger, global scale. Buying animals, trees or plants to help improve the lives of those impoverished and hungry is an amazing idea. I usually buy the gift of The Knitter's Basket as this one really speaks to me. You can make a big difference empowering others and creating a better world with just a small gift.
Yesterday I went to visit a beautiful new store called Criativity. It is located in Largo, Fl which is a bit of a hike but I was half way there already so I decided to drop in. Did you know a baby alpaca is called a cria? Oh my I was so thrilled with this store, there was yarn, alpaca related clothing, work spaces for workshops, looms and all sorts of fun things. What I liked most, well besides looking at the yarn was all of the free-trade items they had. I bought several beautiful felted birdhouses that were really reasonable.
These are made by Wild Woolies, by skilled artisans in Nepal. Made with sustainable materials in a fair trade production center. There are so many gorgeous bid houses, some bright and cheerful, some more muted like this one. I bought several as gifts.
I also bought myself a gift. This is an Alpaca Nesting Ball. The owner of this store also has an alpaca farm. She takes the clippings from the alpacas after they are sheared, and puts them in grapevine balls so birds and other wildlife can use it. She told me that when she walks around her farm she can see bits of the fiber in nests. Well I was all over that. I love fiber and now hopefully the birds and squirrels around me will have some fiber in their nests.
Max was very intrigued with the alpaca smell. This fiber has not been washed, it is straight off the floor after shearing. He was very excited and look he is about the same color!
I hung this outside this morning, come on birds and squirrels here you go. I am not sure Max wants the squirrels to be any more comfortable, they run across the top of our screened in area just to get Max barking.
This store is very new, they have a website but it isn't up and running quite yet. So if you are interested in the Alpaca Nesting Ball here is their phone number, 727-584-4191.
Hope you have a great day and sorry if I was so long winded.