9 great gifts from St. John's social enterprises

For your ease and giving joy, Guide to the Good has put together a Give Social Story Tour of 9 ways to give from local social enterprises in St. John’s this season.

Are there people on your giving list who don’t need more ‘stuff’?  Are they the type who feel good about helping others?  If yes and yes, happy shopping!  There are loads of social enterprises in St. John’s metro selling great gifts that are a joy to receive, and build stronger communities at the same time.

The thing about social enterprise is that unlike straight donations, you get something tangible to give. (Donating to a cause in the name of the recipient is great too, but this ramps up the ‘present’ aspect.)

So here's a Story Tour of a few great social gift ideas and how to get them to get your social giving on the go. 

Give Social:  9 Great Gifts to Give from St. John's Social Enterprises is a click through tour with info and a link to more detail on the social enterprise. Guide to the Good is all about promoting local, social and green choices because that helps build sustainable communities.  (In fact we are a social enterprise!)

You’ll find something for just about everyone on your giving list. Scoll through the story tour below for info and pix, and read on for social enterprise info!

Gift of the Great Outdoors for Nature Enthusiasts  

A season pass (May - November) to the Botanical Gardens on Mount Scio Road is a perfect gift for those who enjoy outdoors.  They offer single, senior, family options and other options.  And on special days your dog is welcome too, no extra charge!

Gift of Tools and Toys for Do-It-Yourself-ers 

Two ways to nail it for your #1 person who's into getting stuff done.  You can (often) buy tools and building-related goods at the ReStore on Kenmount Road, or a gift certificate is always useful.  (Inventory changes all the time).  Membership at The St. John’s Tool Library is an amazing treasure trove of tools and gear to borrow to get the job done. 

Gift of understanding for Knowledge Seekers

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Orange Shirt Day, and other initiatives are raising awareness of Indigenous cultures across the country.  Many people wish to act in ways that are culturally respective, but are unsure as to how.  Indigenous Cultural Diversity Training from First Light is an awesome gift for those who want to learn more about the Indigenous groups in Newfoundland and Labrador,  Sessions are available as individuals or groups .

Gift of new skills for those who want to hear, visually 

Communication is key to connection.  Read Our Lips is locally-developed speechreading learning program. It’s a great skill for anyone even if there is no physical hearing impairment because it aids communication in loud environments, or when sound is turned off in video.

Social Gifts for Fashionistas and Style Lovers

Neighbourhood on Pearson Street in St. John’s sells great clothes at great prices, and every day is different.  You might find the just-right pair of Levi’s 501s that, or the cool dress that will sparkle up the season for your favourite fashionista.   Go more than once!  For those who love the style at home, visit Again & Again on Hebron Way.  It’s the little thrift store of Home Again Furniture Bank.

Perfect Gifts for the Peace Seekers 

Imagine the gift of peace!  We live in challenging times.  Even when things are pretty good, many people find themselves feeling stressed, agitated and exhausted.  But there are gifts we can give that will help people feel better able to respond, more clear-headed, and more at ease.  

Local company Be Compassionate NL offers an 8-week Stanford-University developed online Cultivating Compassion Training program.  It’s been shown to support health, happiness, and well-­­being.

The Lotus Centre on Prescott Street is home to a number of offerings that help people find peace and ease through yoga, meditation, massage, self-exploration, retreats in nature, and more.    


Social Enterprises - more than you think

The Give Social Story Tour shares 9 social enterprises, but there are dozens throughout the province and more are coming. The Centre for Social Enterprise at Memorial supports existing social enterprises, helps create new ones and promotes social enterprise education.  A 'social enterprise' search on the Guide to the Good site yields 43 results!

Like regular business, social enterprises get paid for providing goods or services to market, and that money is used to keep the organization going, pay people, cover operating costs etc..  But the thing with social enterprise is that the operation exists to effect social change and make things better for the community at large. Often a specific demographic of the population - could be employment for people who face barriers, could be raising funds to support animal well-being - but it doesn't have to be that targeted.  Buy Social Canada defines Social Enterprise as an enterprise with 

  • at least 50% of the business’ revenue comes from the sales of goods or services
  • an entity that has an embedded mission to achieve social, cultural or environmental goals through the sale of goods and services
  • at least 50% of the business’ profits go back into their social, cultural or environmental mission.

Social Enterprise UK believes that business, especially social enterprise, has a vital part to play in helping solve the challenges we face around the world to create a fairer and more environmentally friendly world.

So in the holiday season and always, hooray for the great joy of giving!   And exponential hooray when you buy from Social Enterprise because the giving does greater good as well. 

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Kim Todd

Kim Todd is Founder & Digital Guide for thegreenrock and Guide to the Good.