Ej and I, well, we’re very meticulous when it comes to our Christmas gifts. Since the time we were engaged, we already made this excel sheet that contains the special people in lives. And get this, they are divided into different categories. For example, under “family” we have immediate relatives, cousin couples, single cousins, couple – adults, etc. Under friends, we again have other subcategories. Aside from the excel sheet, we also have certain themes per year. I remember last last year, our theme was sustainable development. Last year’s theme was Pro-Filipino. Christmas shopping is actually a fun activity for us. The theme makes it more fun and ‘meaningful’. It makes it more meaningful since you know that they gifts that you give, especially with themes such as these, serve more purpose that just ‘gifts’ for people you love. You are also giving ‘gives’ to the people who made them or to the country we live in.

For this year, we actually have a theme in mind already or probably more of a concept. We will be giving gifts made by Filipino Entrepreneurs. For those of you who want to have your own themes, I actually have a suggestion. You can visit GiftsandGraces.com. This is the site of Gifts and Graces Fair Trade Foundation.

G&G is a duly registered non-stock, nonprofit organization that works with artisans and marginalized groups to help them improve their livelihood programs. G&G works in the areas of product development, market access, technical support on enterprise management, and advocacy of fair trade practices. Each purchase of a Gifts and Graces product supports our partner livelihood groups and artisans and helps them break free from the cycle of poverty.

Quite an interesting and brilliant idea, right? Why not help the less fortunate by not directly giving them money but by teaching them skills and eventually values that they can use to earn money. This is more sustainable.

Gifts and Graces has a global presence and is the brand of choice for handcrafted quality gifts made by livelihood communities of marginalized members of society.

As a social enterprise that champions livelihood products, Gifts and Graces works together with communities primarily through three key business solutions
1. Product development – helps producers improve their craft in terms of design and production processes
2. Market access – means more sales and more income for the producers
3. Capability building on Enterprise management – helps communities deal with supply and production challenges as well as growth and impact

I think this is a very good cause to support. If you want to help, here are some ways you can help:
1. Donate. Make a gift to Gifts and Graces Fair Trade Foundation, Inc. in support of social marketing, technical training, and product development interventions.
2. Commitment to Purchase. G&G can help you manage your gift giving needs. Commit a portion of your gift giving budget to buying alternative products.
3. Volunteer. Share your time and talent with us at G&G or with the partner community whose cause is closest to your heart.
4. Advocate. Help spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues about G&G and what they do. Be an advocate for fair trade and social entrepreneurship.

If you want to help, write them through: http://www.giftsandgraces.com/contact.php

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About The Author

Ginger is the General Manager of ManilaWorkshops.com. She is also the co-founder of a tech start-up company called Turn Up Trumps, Inc. She is a business coach and has her own program called Love the Leap. She has been a blogger since 2005, writing for MommyGinger.com, ManilaFitness.com and ManilaReviews.com. She graduated MA in Communications Major in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Asia and the Pacific. She worked as an account executive for a couple of ad agencies. She also managed a food franchise store. Her longest corporate stint was as a product manager for a known bank in the Philippines.

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