From the Field

Choose joy this season — Christmas gifts that give back

In a year like no other, we could all use an extra dose of joy. Why not share a little more with your loved ones this Christmas? It’s easy with gifts that give back through the World Vision Gift Catalog 

This season’s catalog features beautiful, handcrafted jewelry and home décor items designed by celebrities like Sadie Robertson Huff, Patricia Heaton, Melissa Joan Hart, McDonald, and Leanne Ford. Each unique gift helps empower people to rise out of poverty by meeting specific, urgent needs through the World Vision Fund. 

To create the Celebrity-Designed Artisan-Made Collection, World Vision partnered with Gifts with a Cause, a fair-trade organization that gives artisans a living wage, a safe place to work, training, and opportunities to build business relationships in their communities. More than simply talented, these artisans are also inspiring change makers, determined not only to create better futures for their families, but to lift up other artists in their communities. These are their stories.

The “Circle of Hope” wraparound ring (©2020 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Successful entrepreneur pays it forward  

Pankaj isn’t only a gifted artisan specializing in brass and semi-precious jewelry — he’s a natural-born marketer too. After 15 years of collaborating with other artisans in Jaipur, India, Pankaj wanted to do more to help other people. So he decided to take a risk and go out on his own as an entrepreneur. Today, Pankaj employs 58 other artisans, many of whom are women. He uses his business to support programs that educate children, empower women, and improve working conditions.  

One item Pankaj and his staff created is the “Circle of Hope” wraparound ring designed by Sadie Huff Robertson, TV personality, best-selling author, speaker, and World Vision supporter. For Sadie, the ring “is not only a beautiful, handcrafted item, but represents the endless impact a single gift can have for a family in need.” The adjustable ring — available with a $50 donation through the World Vision Gift Catalog — supports the work of artisans like Pankaj while it also helps provides food, education, and more for families in need through the World Vision Fund.  

The “Unity” tassel necklace (©2020 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Artisan forges brighter future through fair trade  

As a specialist in polishing and finishing jewelry, Varsha, 22, works with brass and semi-precious stones as a member of a fair-trade artisan group in Ranoi in the Karloi district of Rajasthan, India. The monthly income she earns is something she doesn’t take for granted. That’s because when Varsha was young, she wasn’t allowed to go to school. It wasn’t what girls did in her small, rural village. Instead, Varsha toiled long hours in the fields alongside her mother and grandparents. Then when she was 14, her life changed because of an apprenticeship. Within a few years, Varsha was hired by the artisan group that enables her to support herself. 

This Christmas, you can find Varsha’s work in the World Vision Gift Catalog. The “Unity” tassel necklace was designed by Patricia Heaton, Emmy-winning actor, producer, best-selling author, and World Vision Celebrity Ambassador. With a donation of $100, donors can receive this sparkling, handcrafted necklace. “When we empower people with opportunities to recraft their futures, they can become agents of lasting change for their families and communities,” Patricia says. 

The “Loving Heart” ornament (©2020 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Honing a craft to make education possible  

Growing up in poverty in India, Rajesh knows the difference an education can make. He dreams of giving his younger sisters the opportunity to go to school — and is working hard to make that dream a reality. Rajesh was only 19 when he became the sole provider for his mother, his two sisters, and himself. By learning how to make ornaments, he was able to earn the income he needed to care for his family. Today, Rajesh operates a workshop and employs four other artisans. He ensures his workshop maintains fair-trade standards and pays fair wages. And when his staff perform well, he rewards them through annual profit-sharing. 

The “Loving Heart” Christmas ornament, created by artisans in Rajesh’s workshop, is available to donors with a $40 donation. Melissa Joan Hart — actor, director, and World Vision supporter — designed the ornament as “a beautiful way to teach my children about how interconnected our world is. For a $40 donation this simple gift … can help change so many lives.” 

The “Bonded Together” tote (©2020 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Vietnamese women with disabilities sew wearable works of art  

Thu*, an artisan in Vietnam who is hearing impaired, was never taught how to use sign language. Communicating was difficult making it nearly impossible for her to find a job. Then Thu was hired by a fair-trade coop, founded by members with disabilities. The co-op provided her with job skills, fair wages, and the chance to benefit from community programs funded by their earning. Soon she learned how to embroider, sew, quilt, and do patchwork. Today, Thu is not only gainfully employed she’s also beginning to learn sign language.

Making handcrafted gifts featured in the World Vision Gift Catalog brings dignity and income to hardworking artisans with disabilities.
Vietnamese women with disabilities find dignity with new skills that provide income. (Photo courtesy of Gifts With a Cause)

Vietnamese artisans like Thu are behind the eye-catching Bonded Together” tote. Designed by McDonald, singer, author, and World Vision supporter, this patchwork beauty made of bonded faux suede and cotton is available to donors with a donation of $75. is grateful to partner with these artisans to help others. “I’ve seen firsthand the impact opportunities like that can have on a community in desperate need,” she says.   

“Golden Hour” votive holder (©2020 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Metal finishing work provides income — and hope   

Creating custom metal pieces enables Anwar, 44, to support his wife and child through his work — even though he was only able to attend school through the ninth grade. He has teamed up with five other artisans in a workshop in India for more than 15 years now, and business is good. A devoted father, Anwar works diligently and hopes to give his children the education they deserve.  

See the talent of Anwar’s fellow artisans for yourself with this “Golden Hour” votive holder by Leanne Ford, interior designer, author, HGTV star, and World Vision supporter. The gift features ornate ironwork and can be yours with a $50 donation. “I want this special votive to embody the light of God’s hope and love that is represented this and every Christmas,” Leanne says.

 

*Name changed to protect identity.

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