Tuesday, November 3, 2020

IPN Alternative Gift Guide


Iowa Peace Network

 Alternative Gift Guide

No Holiday Open House and Alternative Gift Fair this year? No problem!

(Although we sure will miss seeing all of your smiling faces.) Since we can’t gather together in person, the IPN Joint Oversight Committee thought it would be fun to share our favorite businesses and organizations that are perfect for holiday shopping—and end-of-the-year contributions. Below you’ll find both local and international businesses and causes to support, all concerned with some form of environmental, social and/or racial justice. We hope you enjoy perusing this list, and perhaps find one or two perfect gifts along the way. Here’s to a safe and peaceful holiday season!


Handmade Crafts and Apparel


New Community Project (international)

New Community Project is a small nonprofit organization with a Big Goal: to change the world. NCP focuses on earth care; justice for women, girls and native communities; and experiential learning. They have Sustainable Living Centers in Virginia and Vermont; support girls' education, women's empowerment and forest protection in South Sudan, Rwanda, Malawi, the Ecuadorian Amazon, Nepal, Myanmar, the Dineh reservation in New Mexico, and the Gwich'in in Alaska; and take Learning Tours to visit partners in these areas. 100 percent of contributions to their Special Projects for girls, women and forest protection go to the programs themselves. You can purchase one of their “One Earth, One Chance” shirts along with other items, and donate through their website: newcommunityproject.org

Ten Thousand Villages (international)

Ten Thousand Villages is more than a store. We're a global

maker‑to‑market movement that breaks the cycle of generational poverty and ignites social change. We're a way for you to shop with intention for ethically-sourced wares — and to share in the joy of empowering makers in ten thousand villages. As a pioneer of fair trade, we do business differently, putting people and planet first. That means you can trust that every handmade purchase and donation you make directly impact the life and community of its maker in a developing country. tenthousandvillages.com

Zumi (Des Moines)

Welcome to Zumi! Here you will find a beautiful and diverse collection of African Art, Women's ethnic wear and a wide variety of clothing accessories, home d├ęcor, gifts, and more from Africa, Asia, and South America. So, you can experience the artistry of many different cultures without leaving your home. Many of Zumi’’s products come through companies or organizations that benefit the communities where they originate such as Serrv. zumi.com

John’s Crazy Socks (Melville, New York)

John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son social enterprise inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks, or what he calls his “crazy socks.” We're on a mission to spread happiness. Every day, we show what's possible when you give a person with a differing ability a chance. Over half our employees have a differing ability. johnscrazysocks.com

tentree (international)

Tentree motivates and encourages environmental stewardship through Earth-first apparel. For every item you buy, the company plants 10 trees. As of today, they’ve planted more than 48 million trees and restored land in more than 8 countries. Their vision is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.



Coffee, Chocolate and Other Goodies

BLK & Bold (Des Moines)

Our founders, Pernell & Rod, created BLK & Bold with a desire to make purpose popular. They welcome the obligation to equip young people with tools to live their best lives and overcome familiar unfortunate circumstances by turning a daily ritual—enjoying a cup of coffee and tea—into a means of giving back. BLK & Bold pledges 5% of its profits to initiatives aligned to sustaining youth programming, enhancing workforce development, and eradicating youth homelessness. blkandbold.com

Equal Exchange (international)

Equal Exchange's mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world. equalexchange.coop


Divine Chocolate (international)

Divine Chocolate is a global, farmer-owned chocolate company. We use the amazing power of chocolate to delight and engage. We bring people together to create dignified trading relations, empowering both producers and consumers. It is Divine’s founding purpose to help farmers gain a share of the wealth they are helping to create, putting them higher up the value chain. In doing so, this creates a supply chain that shares value more equitably and serves as an example of a viable model for how to secure the sustainable future of cocoa and cocoa farming. divinechocolate.com

Contribute to a Great Cause

Global Women’s Project (international)

This Church of the Brethren organization partners with many organizations around the world including Uganda, Haiti, Honduras, Nigeria, Mexico, Nicaragua and more.  They work on issues such as helping women with starting up their own businesses, getting out of sexual slavery, providing scholarships for school, health education, and more. The members of the volunteer steering committee are pictured here.


Clothing the Children

(based in Des Moines, serving internationally)

Due to the extreme poverty in remote, third-world countries, clothing is not always affordable or accessible. Depending on the location, extreme weather leaves many children susceptible to harsh environmental conditions. Clothing the Children can mean life for so many who might not otherwise have a chance at obtaining clean, climate-appropriate clothes. ctchildren.net

Immigrant Allies (Marshalltown)

Immigrant Allies of Marshalltown works to coordinate a legal clinic for immigrant families in Marshalltown and the surrounding areas.  Many families have been additionally hard hit by the tornado in 2018, the Derecho storm this past summer and COVID-19.  See more information about their work at immigrantallies.net. To donate, follow links to the Immigrant Allies Helping Fund.

Heifer International

This holiday season, you can take a fun match quiz to see which animal best suits you for sending overseas to benefit families and communities in need. "You can’t change the world by yourself. You need the right animal to help you. When you find the perfect match to help you make a difference, you’ll be able to change lives together." Take the match quiz and contribute at heifer.org/perfectmatch.

Iowa Peace Network (Des Moines)

As you know, IPN is always present at the IPN Open House/Alternative Gift Fair as the host!  We work to connect people across Iowa to work for peace, starting here in Iowa. We publish a weekly email with opportunities to work for peace or learn more about issues, and also publish The Dovetail newsletter three times a year. We work with other peace leaders in Des Moines to plan actions or prayer services for peace. Donations are greatly appreciated, either by check, mailed to IPN, PO Box 30021, Des Moines, IA 50310; or you can donate online at iowapeacenetwork.org. We can send you a card to give to someone, if you are giving to us in the name of someone, for a Christmas present. Just email iowapeacenetwork@gmail.com if you’d like a card. You can also shoot us an email if you’d like to be added to our email or mailing lists, and follow us on Facebook. Happy holidays!

Thanks to Jess Hoffert for putting this together!

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