The corporate world spends an estimated $242 billion on gifts for employees and customers, according to Forbes. Wouldn’t it be rewarding if the purchasing and giving of these types of gifts offered meaningful work for veterans, women, and their children? We recently received information from two entities that offer unique gifting options for the holidays, incentive trips, client appreciation events, or any time of year.
After more than a decade of producing Hiring America, a television show dedicated to helping veterans find professional opportunities and transition to civilian life, Executive Producer Bill Deutch wanted to further support veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs in a new way. He created Military Made to share carefully selected products to help small businesses thrive and create jobs for veterans.
Military Made recently introduced the Grill Box to offer a combination of six barbecue sauces and seasonings, beer koozies, and an oven mitt. One of the sauces, Battle Tested BBQ, is a hickory sauce created by Mike Otis of Raleigh, North Carolina, who served 22 years in the U.S. Air Force and in the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm. Another, Rumi Spice, is an Afghan curry braise made from ethnically sourced Afghanistan spices by a team of U.S. Army veterans from Chicago, Illinois, including Emily Miller, Kim Jung, and Keith Alaniz who served in that country.
When making purchases from Military Made, a portion of the profits goes directly to Hiring America Serves, a nonprofit dedicated to educating veterans and their spouses about how to develop meaningful careers post-service.
Peace by Piece International
Peace by Piece International (PbP), a social-impact company founded and based in Silicon Valley, California, supports underserved communities by buying and selling their products, many of which are made by women who were incarcerated, human trafficked, homeless, or at or below the poverty threshold. These handmade, artisanal items include foods, bags, clothing, home and wellness items, ornaments, and more. Several of the products are grouped in handy gift sets and are made from upcycled or recycled materials.
PbP is led by women who are successful corporate executives at companies like Hewlett-Packard, Avast, and International Data Corp. Founder Lauri Pastrone took a break from a high-level job to co-author a cookbook to highlight and financially support the work of Women for Women International. While researching the cookbook, she noticed women in poor countries struggling to raise their families. She started PbP in August 2017 to provide a new sales channel for artisanal gift makers who in turn help support their communities.
Happy shopping while supporting great causes!