Friday, 30 November 2012

Christmas Gifts that Keep Giving: Natural Collection

So today’s post is about the Natural Collection which has been going since 1999. On Natural Collection’s site you'll find the latest trends in organic and eco friendly fashion, handmade and locally produced gifts, and natural products for your home and garden.

The Natural Collection produces Fairtrade and Organic fashion collection, featuring the trends in men's and women's clothing made from natural and organic fabrics including Fairtrade and Organic cotton, sustainable bamboo, and hemp - many of their unique fashion accessories use recycled materials and are handmade in the UK or by Fairtrade producers in the developing world.

Whether your style is inspired by British seaside or country living or by ethnic style reflecting world cultures, you'll be sure to find the perfect gift for your friends or family or as a special treat for yourself. Check out their Good Guides where you can shop for green products according to their ethical credentials whether you're looking for Fairtrade t-shirts, Eco friendly cleaning products, or Organic coffee.

Make a difference this Christmas by buy an ethically sourced gift that keeps giving!


Ronell x

“Love is not patronizing and charity isn't about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same - with charity you give love, so don't just give money but reach out your hand instead.” {Mother Teresa}

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Christmas Gifts That Keep Giving: Animal Rescue Site

So the gig was amazing and here is my actual post!


So today’s post is about another of the online stores linked to the Greater Good Network- The Animal Rescue Site Store: .

This online store sells many different items, including pet accessories, clothing, jewellery and Fairtrade items. Each item that is sold funds at least 14 bowls of food for animals in need. So far, 492,408,168 bowls of food have been given to animals in need through this site alone!

I personally really love the jewellery with inspirational messages on it and have purchased many items for myself, or as gifts.

They also have a lovely section for Christmas decorations and stocking fillers, so have a little look!

If you love animals, why not buy gifts for others that will also make a positive difference for maltreated animals!


Ronell x

“Life is as dear to the mute creature as it is to a man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not to die, so do other creatures” {The Dalai Lama}

Matt Corby

I completely forgot that I was going to be in London at Matt Corby's  secret gig in Shoreditch tonight and have not blogged today! I'm sitting at a table across from Matt trying to think about what I was planning on posting tonight, but nothing has come to mind!

I started a series about the online stores connected to The Greater Good Network and, when I eventually get home this evening, I will write about The Animal Rescue Site Store.

Enjoy your evening folks and watch this space!


Ronell x

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Buy Fairtrade this Christmas

For those of you wanting to buy ethically this Christmas (and at other times hopefully!), an organisation you should find out more about is Fairtrade. Look out for their logo on products online and in shops.

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Fairtrade standards comprise both minimum social, economic and environmental requirements, which producers must meet to be certified, plus progress requirements that encourage continuous improvement to develop farmers’ organisations or the situation of estate workers.

Fairtrade’s vision is of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.
To achieve this vision, Fairtrade seeks to transform trading structures and practices in favour of the poor and disadvantaged. By facilitating trading partnerships based on equity and transparency, Fairtrade contributes to sustainable development for marginalised producers, workers and their communities. Through demonstration of alternatives to conventional trade and other forms of advocacy, the Fairtrade movement empowers citizens to campaign for an international trade system based on justice and fairness. 

So in your Christmas shopping travels this month, look out for the Fairtrade logo!


Ronell x

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” {Elizabeth Gilbert}

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Gifts that keep giving: The Breast Cancer Site Store

One of the first organisations I blogged about was The Greater Good Network’s The Breast Cancer Site: free clicks for food! Today, I am posting about The Breast Cancer Site Store for gifts that keep giving.

Each of the items that you buy on this site helps give free mammograms administered by clinics and hospitals. So far, 52,859 mammograms have been funded for women in need! They do absolutely gorgeous jewellery and other gifts that I can highly recommend. I own a lot of their jewellery and particularly love the jewellery with inspirational messages on (Christian and otherwise). I have also bought many gifts from this site.

You can even buy Christmas decorations or lovely stocking fillers from this site!

Make a difference this Christmas by buy an ethically sourced gift that keeps giving!


Ronell x

“Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” {Luke 12:33}

Monday, 26 November 2012

Samaritan’s Purse: Gifts for the Needy

Today’s post is not about online shops that source ethically made gifts you can buy for friends and family that will make a difference, but rather about giving gifts to the needy at a time of year that should be all about giving.

This post was inspired by the fact that my school did a drive for Samaritan’s Purse to get as many filled Christmas Shoe boxes (presents for needy children) as possible. I had posted about this initiative in October and definitely wanted to do at least one of these, but it ended up that I did not have time to make up a shoe box :(

It really bothered me that I had not made a physical shoe box full of toys, educational and hygiene items in time for my school's collection, so I went online and found out that I could do it online!

I chose the wrapping paper, the age and gender of the child I wished to give a present to and could then choose the items to go inside. It is not as personal as doing it myself, but definitely better than not doing it at all! There is even the option just to send a pre-made box if you don't have enough time to select what is inside. You can also send multiple of the same box that you create to save time and ensure that more children receive gifts this Christmas.

Go online and make/send a Christmas shoebox- the time, money and effort it takes to make it is nothing compared to the joy it will bring to the child who receives it!

If you would like to give a gift that benefits many people this Christmas, you can also go to the Samaritan’s Purse’s Giving Catalogue and select a gift to buy or a project to donate to. You can even buy a gift voucher (£7+) to give to friends and family for them to choose how they wish to do good this Christmas through the work of the Samaritan’s Purse.

Gifts range from £4-£100, so that means there is one to suit every budget this Christmas!

Please give generously and change somebody’s Christmas!


Ronell x

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” {Anne Frank}

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Gifts that keep giving: The Hunger Site Store

One of the first organisations I blogged about was The Greater Good Network’s The Hunger Site: free clicks for food! Today, I am posting about The Hunger Site Store for gifts that keep giving.

Each of the items that you buy on this site funds at least 25 cups of food to feed the hungry. So far, 824,909,397 cups of food have been been given to feed the hungry! They do absolutely gorgeous jewellery and other gifts that I can highly recommend. I own a lot of their jewellery and particularly love the jewellery with inspirational messages on (Christian and otherwise). I have also bought many gifts from this site.

You can even buy Christmas decorations or lovely stocking fillers from this site!

Also check out their Daily Deal for great offers!

Make a difference this Christmas by buying ethically sourced gifts that keep giving!


Ronell x

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” {James 2:14-18 }

Saturday, 24 November 2012

1 month to Christmas - tips for ethical shopping & gifts that keep giving

OK, so in my world, today is the earliest that the Christmas countdown should begin: 1 day and 1 month to go! (in my family, presents are opened on Christmas Eve) I can’t believe this year has gone so quickly!! But with Christmas once again just around the corner, the thing on my mind is Christmas shopping… what do I buy for who and from where?! And the more I read about forced labour and unethical practices by so many companies, the more confusing this issue gets!

So I thought I would try to help anyone who is trying to make a difference by giving you some daily options and information to help you buy gifts that are ethical and can both bring joy to the people you are giving them to, and make a difference to the lives of others!

To start with, I thought I would draw your attention to Not For Sale’s Apparel Report, which details how ethically organizations that make clothing, etc conduct themselves.

Next, the ethical holiday shopping guide which is guidance on how to make purchases that do not promote modern day slavery. This is supported by Shop to Stop Slavery, who also have a section on their site where you can make ethical purchases:  

This series will continue well into December, so do continue to keep checking on suggestions of ethical online shops and companies on here. If you have information that suggests anything that I have posted is incorrect, please comment below or email me to and I will research/update/correct. Please also contact me with ideas for ethical shopping, or any other general charities or causes that you would like me to blog about.


Ronell x

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” {Mother Teresa}

Friday, 23 November 2012

Human trafficking survivor stories

So to celebrate the fact that we are through the 21 ways to help A21 Campaign, I thought I would give you some links to survivor stories and to people who have been fighting for them.

- A21 Heroes (those who fundraise and fight against human trafficking): - a good resource to get inspirations for your own ideas!

- Watch this video about two women who were tricked into the sex slave trade and their stories- A Dangerous Journey:

Keep up your support against human trafficking! Today's challenge: find an inspiration and choose how you can play a part in ending human trafficking!


Ronell x

“I am a person who is unhappy with things as they stand. We cannot accept the world as it is. Each day we should wake up foaming at the mouth because of the injustice of things.” {Hugo Claus}

Thursday, 22 November 2012

21 Ways to get involved with the A21 Campaign (21/21) The A21 Campaign’s 21:21 project

As I combined 2 of the 21 suggestions by the A21 campaign (1- write a letter and 14- write for their rights), I am adding in the A21 Campaign’s 21-21 project as my 21st way to get involved with the A21 Campaign.

Basically, The A21 Campaign now have a way for you to partner with them on a regular basis to bring freedom, justice, and hope for victims of human trafficking. Below are four easy ways you can join them in the fight for freedom {taken from 21-21 site}.

$21 a month can buy you a few cups of coffee or maybe a night at the movie theater. But $21 a month can provide the following items to someone who has been a victim of human slavery and sex trafficking:
               A shelter home once rescued by authorities
               A welcome care package
               A bed
               New pajamas
               Mini-makeover (haircut and facial cleansing, if desired)
               All necessary toiletries and feminine products
               Well-balanced and nutritious meals
               Full medical examination (blood test, pregnancy tests, and gynecology examination)
               A social worker assigned to each case

How can so little, pay for so much? Together we can pull resources and ensure that everyone has the right to live a safe, healthy, and free life.

We know there are many ways to invest your money.  But we believe by investing in a life, you’re return of investment is shown by providing justice and freedom to women who have been trapped in slavery. Check out some ways your investment brings justice to the oppressed.
In addition to providing basic home care, shelter, and assistance, as our HEALING partners, our JUSTICE partners will also provide:
               Security and protection
               Legal representation in court cases
               Obtain VOT (victim of trafficking) certificate from public prosecutor
               File grievances and request documentation for victim’s repatriation (if applicable)

If a court case is filed, all legal fees, paperwork fees, and legal documentation will be covered

How can provisions be made to restore a future? How can dreams be returned? Though we can’t undo the past, we can provide a new future for girls who want to rebuild their lives. With your $21 a day donation, you can help women envision a new FUTURE by providing skills and education to help them prepare for life on their own.
With your generous monthly donation, you will ensure women have the basic needs met in the HEALING partnership, the legal representation, attention, and protection of our JUSTICE partnership, in addition to what our FUTURE partnership includes:
               Language education in both English and national language of shelter country
               12-week Empower program (trauma rehabilitation program)
               12-week Shine program (personal development program)
               12-week Life Skills program (providing simple and practical tools to reintegrate back into society)
               Computer skills
               Opportunity to transfer to an A21 transition program
               Designed to reintegrate women into society and start rebuilding their lives
               Accommodation and living expenses assistance
               Language training
               Vocational/educational training
               Assistance in securing employment
               Medical and psychological support

4.   Give hope:

We know that everyone has a different story and our circumstances in life may vary. But the good news is that everyone can make a difference! With our HOPE option of monthly or one-time donations, you are able to choose any amount of financial donation to support all costs and needs for the girls at the shelter.
You and your donation are valuable in the fight for freedom. Know that your contribution goes to all areas of need: from everyday care (housing, food, shelter) to larger financial obligations (necessary medical tests, legal feels, court cases).

To commit to a monthly contribution of any amount or to make a one-time donation, fill out the donation section on any of these pages to get started!

Commit yourself to making a real difference to those who are being bought and sold against their will every day!


Ronell x

“Charity is a supreme virtue, and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed on to mankind. It is the virtue that unites men and inspires their noblest efforts… There is a natural law, a Divine law, that obliges you and me to relieve the suffering, the distressed and the destitute.” {Conrad Hilton}

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I am Second: 22 day challenge

{information from I am Second site}
I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.
You are here for a reason. We all have needs and could use some help. Talk to us. Call, chat, or email. 24 hours a day.
Go a step further, talk with the people in your life. Spread the revolution of Second. Share the videos with friends. Start an I am Second Group in your neighborhood, workplace, or school or join an I am Second Group already meeting.
Volunteer at concerts. Serve through I am Second community service events. Organize your own I am Second events. Sign up for an I am Second Expedition to help people in other countries. Check out Get Involved for other opportunities. Connect with us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
I am Second is designed to help people discover their purpose in life. Have you discovered yours?
To find out more about the people and leadership team behind I Am Second you can check out Who We Are.

I stumbled upon I am second through YouTube video that somebody shared and I was so challenged and inspired by it that I started to look at the decisions that I was making through the filter: ‘Am I Second?’. More often than not (in fact, almost all the time!), the answer was a huge, resounding ‘NO!’. I was really challenged to apply this filter to all my major decisions and I think mostly I do now do that (clearly not always). And then I became challenged to apply it to more medium-sized decisions. Now I am finally starting to realise that the ‘Am I Second?’ filter needs to be applied to ALL my decisions, even the ones that I think ‘why would God care about THAT??’. But the truth is, He does. God SO LOVED that He gave His ONLY begotten Son to DIE for US (John 3v16), so clearly HE CARES! And the honest truth is, that by filtering even insignificant decisions in this way, you are becoming more attuned to His voice and you are practicing obedience.

A suggestion I have for you with ‘I am Second’, is to take the 22 day challenge of so that you can be a catalyst for change! How does it work?

* Watch the I am Second film of the day.
* Send a link to that film to someone that comes to mind.
* Take the action step for the day.
* Pray for people in your city to experience the freedom of living Second.
You will be encouraged as you watch each day's I am Second focus film. You will grow stronger as you take each day's action step. You will have the fun of forwarding I am Second's films to others. You will see change as you pray for your city.
We are Second when we put Jesus First. Seconds are bold to lift up Jesus and tell others. Are you ready to

So go on, take the challenge! You never know the difference you can make to someone’s life in the few minutes it takes to do this challenge!


Ronell x

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” {Romans 12:1-2}