Friday, September 28, 2012

Party with a Purpose

My youngest sister is getting married soon and as we began planning her bridal shower I started to think of ways we could "go purposeful"with the shower.   Not wanting to steal the spotlight from my sis on this important occasion, I ran all my ideas through her first, but she is a Social Worker with a heart for helping others so she was on board immediately. 

Donations in lieu of favors are one way and are becoming more popular at Weddings and showers.  We decided that instead of trinkets, we would make a donation to Sole Hope.  A cheap $1 favor in my opinion just makes for clutter and with a big guest list can get quite pricey.  We thought of what a real impact a $50 donation could make to Sole Hope.  That would sponsor 5 pairs of shoes! 

Here is what we came up with for our fall bridal shower. On the back side the mission of Sole Hope is explained.

Here are some tips/ideas for doing this for an event:
  • Pick a cause or charity that is significant to the persons being honored or the occasion. 
  • I wanted each person to go home with the Sole Hope name and mission so we did do individual favors and candy, but you could just print out a piece of paper stating that in lieu of favors a donation was made to xyz charity and place it in a pretty frame on the gift table.
  • Consider a fair trade favor- chocolates or coffee.
Now for the best part!  I have 20 extra fall cardstock printed Sole Hope favors.  I will give them to the first person to make a $25 or more donation to Sole Hope,  .  Please put in the comments of your donation "party favors - Carissa" , then in the comments below let me know you have done so (I will verify with Sole Hope) with your e-mail address and I will contact you and mail them to you.  Bags and candy NOT included.

Would also love your ideas or suggestions for ways to purposefully party!  More posts & pics to follow about the other things we did to make this shower purposeful.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fair Trade Finds

So most of the items I review I seek out online, take a chance and order them, but lately I've stumbled upon a few purposeful finds. The first are Krugers baskets.  The baskets are made from elephant grass by farmers in Ghana.  I found them for sale at a local farm stand.  Useful and beautiful, they are said to be long lasting.  I was happy to purchase a couple of baskets and encourage a retailer in offering these types of items. 

Second was a store called Ten Thousand Villages.  We were about an hour from our home out to dinner and had a few minutes to shop before having to be somewhere else and I saw this store. So disappointed that I couldn't spend more time shopping, but saw many things I really liked.  They have a store locator on their website to see if you have one near you, and hooray there is a store closer to me than the one I first visited.

Fair Trade items are out there, they may not be easy to find, but keep an eye out.. and please share with me your finds!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Y Not Help?

The idea for this post comes from my sister, a Social Worker with a big heart for kids.  If you want healthy living tips, check out her blog here.  She teaches an exercise class at her local Y and mentioned all the great things they are doing for the kids in that area.  For example, providing lunch over the summer to kids who would normally get free lunch at school but may miss that meal when school is out.  She points out, "they served grapes to the kids and some had never tasted them before and they grow right here in our county!"

If you have any experience with a Y you know what a great asset they are, not just to underprivileged kids, but to all kids and adults in the community. 

So, how about show a little love for the Y by ordering a cute Halloween tee!  They are SUPER cheap at $3.55 for white and $4.56 for colored choices.  This is a limited edition shirt and according to the Y shop's website, all orders are taken until 9/14 (that's Friday - so do it NOW) and are guaranteed to ship on 10/15.  Here is the link:

Would love to hear how the Y has benefited you or your community in the comments below.  Please share!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fair Trade Fashion

A friend connected me with a fair trade fashion company called Mata Traders through twitter.  I have ordered from them twice now and have gotten some great deals on the clearance items.

Mata employs women in India and pays them a fair, living wage for their work.  Ironically, you can't guarantee that with most high end, high priced fashion you find at the mall. 

As with ordering all things online, read carefully the description of the fabric and look at the fit to try to decide if it will look good on your body style.  Their sizes seem to run true. For example, if you normally wear a size 10 order the size that corresponds to that.  

One caution, the items I ordered indicate they should be hand washed.  I'm not a big fan of high-maintenance clothes but the clothes I ordered were for special occasions so I didn't mind making an exception. 

In addition to their clothing, they have beautiful jewelry and a few household items. 
Shipping was a very reasonable $5.99.  The items were shipped quickly and arrived a few days from my order both times.

Thank you Mata Traders for bringing fair trade and fashion together beautifully.