GIVE: 10 Mindful Giving Gifts

By Elizabeth Atalay of Documama
Elizabeth Atalay, our guest Central Article writer, has a mission to share stories and experiences from around the world as a way to inspire action, to educate, and to connect people cross-culturally. She loves to support companies that are eco-friendly and socially, and globally conscious.

FashionABLE Scarves 

This scarf was designed exclusively for the ONE Foundation and is made from 100% light weight African cotton. The Feleku scarf was created when the ONEMoms (including my amazing sister-in-law Jeannine Harvey) were on a trip to Ethiopia. ONE has partnered with FashionABLE, a company that works to create economic opportunities for women inEthiopia be creating handmade scarves. Each style is named after the woman that designed it and includes a tag describing what she is able to do as a result of having a job. This scarf is named after Feleku, who is now ABLE to face new challenges. 

Lollie Beads 

Lollie Beads bracelets are created from fair trade recycledglass beads made in Uganda. Not only are they gorgeous (the glass beads look and feel like sea glass) but they are good for the environment AND help support sustainable living in a developing country.

The Anchal Project 

I first heard of the Anchal Project at the Rhode Island School of Design Student and Alumni Art sale where I bought a small moleskin notebook to support the project. Since that time, they have branched out to include an incredible array of crafts including these beautiful quilts to support their mission: Anchal merges design, business, and education to empower marginalized and exploited women living in India.


These Toms wedges were at the top of my daughter’s wish list when she saw them come out so you know they must be cool! Tom’s keeps its designs fresh while still managing to provide shoes and glasses to those who need them. I love their One for One business model and pledge to support it with as many shoes as I can get away with, but it’s still for a great cause!

FEED Project

Whenever I carry my FEED bag I get compliments and inquiries about it, and I love promoting their wonderful program. The FEED Project make perfect gifts that give back because it tells you how many children you are feeding by purchasing it. You can choose the product based on what efforts you wish to support. Last season I loved their DKNY Collaboration Survival Tote and NYC Hoodie Sweatshirt that supports relief efforts for hurricane Sandy victims.

Sari Bari

Sari Bari is a safe place of employment where women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to trafficking can experience a new life in the making. Gorgeous Indian textiles are woven into clothing, accessories and home goods. T-shirts, bags and jewelry bags all help these women live free lives of restoration and hope.

Alex & Ani

Alex & Ani jewelry is a favorite gift of mine to give, not only is it made from recycled materials, locally owned and founded by a woman, but has a Charity By Design division where a percentage of proceeds is directed toward a specific cause. You can also customize your gift to the recipients personality or interests with their amazing selection of charm bracelets and charm necklaces.

1000 Shillings

1000 Shillings makes Ugandan Paper bead necklaces. The women artisans earn capital for their own small businesses by making limited-editionproducts for 1000 Shillings. Each product sold through this company helps a woman establish a small business which enables her to support her family. Their aim is to tell the in-depth story behind each artisan they sustain. The company works with six single mothers in the Namatala slum in Uganda.

A Gift as a Gesture 

Sometimes it is hard to find the perfect gift for someone who has every material thing they desire. Still, you want to give something as a token of your appreciation to them and the following gesture gifts are the perfect solution that everyone can feel good about.

Heifer International has created an entire gift catalog so that you can give what you can and choose a project. You can choose to give a $10 gift to provide a shared gift of a goat or a pig or $20 for a flock of geese.  Another option is to spend $100 to share the gift of Milk Menagerie or $1,000 for the full price to provide milk to people in need.

Photo by Elizabeth Atalay
“Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth.  It all started with a cow.  Moved by the plight of orphans and refugees of the Spanish Civil War as he ladled out meager rations of powdered milk, Dan West, an Indiana farmer, volunteer relief worker and Church of the Brethren member, grasped that the people needed “a cow, not a cup”—cows that could produce milk so families would not have to depend on temporary aid. From that simple idea, Heifer International was born.” – From the Heifer International Website

You can donate a goat to a family to help lift them out of extreme poverty. All proceeds from the sale of the Limited Edition ONE Goat (a partnership with the ONE Foundation) will go to Heifer International. They kicked off their ONE Goat yesterday with #GivingTuesday and this is a great way to give a meaningful gift. 

Save A Life This Christmas with Maternity Worldwide :  ”No mother should die while giving birth. By ordering a Safe Birth Certificate you will enable a mother in a developing country to safely give birth to her baby.  Long after the bubble bath has been used and the Christmas hampers have been eaten you will have given a lasting gift which will save a mother’s life and enable her baby to grow up with their mum.”– From the Maternity Worldwide Website

Indigenous Clothing is all about ethical fashion. They respect the culture, tradition, and rights of artisans throughout the world while supporting fair trade practices. They use natural and organic fibers and low impact dyes in their clothing. They create clothing that are healthy for you, your morals, and the environment. Indigenous is dedicated to keeping toxins off your body as you wear clothing.  The eco-clothing green movement is made far more glamorous when wearing clothes made by artisans who support the cultural traditions that make them what they are today.

UNICEF Inspired Gifts: One amazing gift, that does it all. The Child Survival Food Pack has everything needed to save a severely malnourished child, from the time they are brought into an emergency feeding center on the brink of death, until they are healthy again.  Therapeutic Milk and Therapeutic Food are the miracle supplies that treat severe acute malnutrition. Water Purification Tablets provide clean and safe water and prevent water-borne diseases. Multiple Micronutrient Powder and High-Energy Biscuits give a child the vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy.  Your precious gift can bring a child back from the brink of malnutrition, with enough supplies to nurture them to good health for several months.”–

About Elizabeth Atalay aka Documama


Once upon a time Documama was an adventuress. She spent a collective two and a half years backpacking around the world to more than 50 countries throughout Africa, Asia, South America, South East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe pursuing her passion for Anthropology, ethnographic film and photography. But that was a long time ago. Her most recent adventures include fishing a dropped toy out of a Koi pond, and navigating a double stroller through a crowded store. Today Elizabeth Atalay is a full time loving wife, and devoted mother to her four children. She holds a B.A. in Communications, and M.A. in Documentary Filmmaking & Anthropology. In between travels she worked in film production on feature films, TV commercials, and TV Series in Boston and New York City. Since turning 40 she has completed 5 sprint triathlons, passions include making art, reading, watching movies, skiing, Kayaking, eating, drinking, and traveling.   Elizabeth is an Editor and contributing writer  for Social Good, and World Voices at worldmomsblog, the  Global Team of 200 , and Rhody Bloggers For Good.  She has been a contributor to ONEMoms,  amomknowsbest, andgaltime/providence.  Documama is also a ONEMoms community Partner, a member of Mom Bloggers For Social Good, and a social good advocate with  The Mission List, and was selected  as a [email protected] Champion to work with the United Nations Foundation on the global vaccine initiative.

2 thoughts on “GIVE: 10 Mindful Giving Gifts

  1. Great post Elizabeth. It is truly impressive to read about giving in so many ways to help so many people. Your day is obviously very busy but your energy forges through to describe how everyone can find a way to give to people in need. I can only bless your energy and ability to focus on making a difference for social good. Congratulations, you are succeeding!

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