In a season marked by the giving and receiving of gifts, sometimes the gifts you give, give back to others.
Two local examples of this are Noonday Collection and Sister Bridge. Both of these have direct sales representatives who sell products made across the globe to help provide an income for those in impoverished areas.
Ashley Purcell is an independent ambassador for Noonday Collection, a company started by Jessica Honegger after meeting Jalia and Daniel, jewelry designers from Uganda who wanted to use fashion to create dignified jobs in their community, she said.
After Honegger hosted her first show to raise money for an adoption, the company continued to grow, Purcell said. Noonday Collection became a business to help alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship, she said.
Noonday Collection currently partners with 33 artisan businesses in 15 countries.
Purcell said giving a gift from something such as Noonday Collection helps make the world a better place.
“Consumers can do our part by helping make sure people around the globe can provide for their families, restore economic health in communities and send children to school for an education,” she said. “When you purchase from Noonday, you are doing just that — you are making an impact with your purchase power.”
It’s the kind of gift that keeps on giving, she said.
“You are not only gifting the recipient, you are giving to a woman, a family and a community,” Purcell said. “The stories behind each handmade piece that Noonday sells are powerful stories of life change and when you make a purchase, you make an impact.”
Another local opportunity to give back with gifts is Sister Bridge.
Local organizer Lyndsay Taylor said Sister Bridge is a ministry that connects women around the world.
“As missionaries help create micro enterprises for women in other countries, teaching them how to make incredible handmade jewelry, metal ornaments, colorful bags and more, Sister Bridge closes the gap between us and them by selling their products and sending 100 percent of the money back to the women,” Taylor said.
The items are purchased from a ministry that partners with Sister Bridge.
“This helps women know we support them and that they’re remembered,” she said. “And at the same time, what local lady wouldn’t truly enjoy a new handmade clay bead necklace or brightly colored apron — it’s a win, win.”
Taylor said Sister Bridge is picky about who to partner with because they want to know exactly where the money is going. They previously worked with ministries in India, Cambodia and Indonesia, but currently they are partnered with ministries in Haiti and Swaziland.
“We love what these ministries stand for and how they strategically make lives better for women and their children and even grandchildren,” she said.
Items are gathered and sold in the fall as a lead into Christmas. Most of them are sold at home, school and work parties.
“In the past six to seven years, we have been able to send to these women a total of roughly $55,000,” Taylor said.
To learn about Sister Bridge, find them on Facebook.
For more about Noonday Collection, visit noondaycollection.com to connect with Purcell or another local ambassador.