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December 01, 2011 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-12-01

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Lynne Konstantin


Great gifts that give back.

Contributing Writer

In the spirit of Tikkun Olam, Hebrew for "repairing the world," give the gift
that keeps on giving, with help from these charitable products and organizations.

Artist, mother and social entrepreneur
Rebecca Peragine founded Children Inspire
Design to help children (and their parents)
learn compassion for the Earth and all who
inhabit it. And she does it with whimsical,
engaging and simply sweet (and socially
relevant) posters, prints, stationery and wall
cards that kids will love to look at while
letting global responsibility become second
nature. All pieces are eco-friendly — think
recycled papers and card stock and soy ink —
and offer a magical taste of cultures around
the world.
But Peragine also spearheaded Children
Inspire Design's One Mother to Another line
— handmade products crafted by mothers
in impoverished areas in Mexico (including
Isla Mujeres, an island where Peragine once
lived) and Haiti (like the Recycled Paper
Bird Ornaments, $18, shown). The artisans
earn money, through fair trade, that not only
provides economic independence, but also,
says Peragine, a lesson to their children that
women can become strong and successful,
and can control their own future. When a
shopper buys one product from the One
Mother to Another collection, Children
Inspire Design buys two more from them.
Childreninspiredesign.com; (877) 246 2475.


The milk of human kindness: Donations to Heifer
International fund projects that provide livestock,
ecological farming instruction and veterinary
support to communities and families in need
around the world. From Appalachia to Zambia, the
organization's animals and training are helping to
alleviate hunger and poverty while also allowing
the recipients to become self reliant. Eggs, meat and
milk provide nutrition, and also become a source of
income for families and communities. In line with
Heifer International's commitment to sustainable
assistance, the animals become "living loans:' with
project participants agreeing to give offspring to
others in need. An example: The Albanian woman,
shown, with her cow, Molla (which means "Apple"),
gets 10-12 liters of milk per day, from which she


December 1 • 2011

Helping women worldwide rise out of poverty by
providing an online marketplace for their handcrafted,
fairly traded goods, Global Girlfriend lets you shop hun-
dreds of artisans and crafts to fund micro-grants for
women in Africa to launch small businesses.
Launched in 2003 by Stacey Edgar, a social worker
and advocate for women and children who had a $2,000
tax return and a commitment to helping women in need
receive economic security, Global Girlfriend offers eco-
conscious apparel, gifts and jewelry — like the Adorned
Treasure Bangle, shown, made in India by Community
Friendly Movement, a fair trade group that creates jobs
for marginalized women. Globalgirlfriend.com; (888)

produces cheese, yogurt and curd to feed her family
of six children and three grandchildren. The cow is
her only source of income.
Each project is thoroughly researched prior to
being funded. And to ensure "just and sustainable
development:' gender equality training, animal
management and ongoing monitoring are part
of the process. Donations can be made through
its website, which allows you to choose specific
initiatives to help fund, and lets you share in the
progress with project updates and stories of the
people whose lives are being affected. And check
out Heifer's Gift Catalog, where you can give the gift
of a flock of geese, a water buffalo and more; you
can then create a personalized card to let friends
and family know that you honored them with a gift.
Heifer.org; (800) 422-0474.
Give/Get on page 34

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