Local social enterprises offer unique gifts with a purpose

by Collin Lessing, JVA Consulting

With the holidays just around the corner, JVA Consulting is excited about the gift opportunities offered by local social enterprises. Here are a few of our favorite Colorado organizations that are embracing social enterprise and can help you find that perfect gift for the holidays:

Earthlinks connects low-income, homeless and at-risk persons with nature, offering innovative programs, providing healing adventures, a sense of community, and support toward empowering life changes. The organization has all kinds of interesting gift options including a bat habitat and rain barrel drip irrigation system! Be sure to check out this former Colorado Compassion Initiative grantee’s online shop.

http://earthlinks-colorado.org/shop

If there are people in your life who are fans of gourmet food, or if you need something delicious and unique to bring to a holiday party, take a look at Women’s Bean Project. This innovative organization helps women break the cycle of poverty through social enterprise.

http://www.womensbeanproject.com/gourmet-food.html

A favorite holiday shopping option of art-lovers at JVA is Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA). Their annual holiday art show and sale has items ranging from $5 to $100. All works of art have been created by students or professional artists who teach at DAVA. The show runs until December 23.

http://www.davarts.org/contact/hourslocation/

If handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, textiles, serveware and personal accessories from across the world are what you’re looking for, you should consider Ten Thousand Villages in Cherry Creek or Fort Collins. While they are not based out of Colorado, their efforts benefit those in need across the world: Ten Thousand Villages has developed a sustainable market in North America for goods developed by people in areas of the world where there are limited opportunities for income. Be sure to check out the Gift Ideas page that has suggestions for every gift-giving occasion.

http://www.tenthousandvillages.com

If you’re on the Western Slope, visit Uniquely Yours in downtown Grand Junction, which carries a line of  items from Ten Thousand Villages.

http://uniquelyyours.tenthousandvillages.com/php/stores.festivals/store.homepage.php

If you know of other innovative, local social enterprises, please leave a comment on the blog with a link to the organization’s Web page.

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