Alternative Gift Giving
The winter holiday season in Minnesota is a time of nearness, a time of connection. We draw closer to our families, to our tables, to our traditions and our hearths (symbolic or sparking). In this time of renewed connection, the Justice Office staff asks you to consider how your gift-giving might connect you to the global community. There are a myriad of organizations that offer not only beautiful objects, but also lovely ideas – organizations like Heifer International
, where a flock of geese for a family In Southeast Asia costs $20, or the World Wildlife Federation
, where you can “adopt” a panda for $50.
Other options for conscientious gift-giving include supporting the work of our ministries! If you are browsing our website, you are most likely familiar with the work that the Sister of St. Joseph do throughout the community. Our diverse ministries have wishlists of items that they could use in the coming year.
Consider donating to the Sisters of St. Joseph Ministries Foundation
raises funds so Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet can respond to the needs of our community with health care, education, safe housing, spirituality, and leadership development, or supporting the CSJs themselves by purchasing some lovely artwork
Buying fair trade means a fair price for buyer and seller, fair working conditions, and environmental sustainability. There are many ways to buy fair trade. These organizations provide many enticing gift items: chocolate, coffee, jewelry, handicrafts and more! Transfair USACatholic Relief Services Fair TradeSERRVGive Us Wings
A great resource for finding green and local products and businesses is the Chinook Book
-- a coupon book that’s sure to have something for everyone; from the fasionista to the foodie.
Other good resources: Made in Minnesota
and Green America
Making the Connection
Many of us opting for alternative gifts are celebrating the holidays with family members and friends who may not share the same focus. This expands alternative gift giving from an opportunity to connect with the global community to a chance to connect your family and friends more deeply to the needs of the world. These connections can be made most impactful by choosing alternative gifts that are tailored to the experiences of your friends and family.
For a brother who enjoyed athletics and recess as a child, a soccer ball
to a impoverished community or physical education equipment
to an American school through Save the Children. Support an art therapy program
for your artistic aunt. For your farming grandfather, cultivate the land and train a farmer
through the World Food Programme. You can also allow your family members to make their own connection through a "Charity Gift Card"
found through Tis Best Philanthropy.
With a little digging, you can find something that will connect us all as one world.
In the words of Edward Everett Hale:
“I am only one
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do
The something that I can do.”