The article was first published in February 2023. It has been updated since then.
Every time when it’s someone birthday or when there is a special occasion, I frantically search for gifts or hampers that a) are presentable with a unique flavour and b) give back to the community. Not an easy task if you want a special present for your client or for a friend!
So, I sat down and compiled a list of five charities that have some special gifting ideas for your next purchase.
1. The Batik Boutique
The top of my list has to go to The Batik Boutique – uniquely Malaysian in design, employing 300+ artisans with fair wages, they have trained 150+ women in marketable skills and are creating stronger communities with 1500+ beneficiaries. The Batik Boutique is located in Jalan Doraisamy and Desa Sri Hartamas in Kuala Lumpur and in Westin Desaru. You can contact them here. I particularly love the KLCC etched tumbler and notebook, priced at RM189.
Have a look here for our review of their batik workshops, another fun way to support this place.
2. Komuniti Tukang Jahit
My next offering seems to be similar to The Batik Boutique, but has expanded to help the more needy: Komuniti Tukang Jahit. They are a platform that builds and empowers a community of B40 women by providing upskill training and sewing job opportunities and boast of fully customisable hampers – with gifts that ‘transform lives, uplift communities and preserve the environment’. They support several charities and communities like Kindness, PichaEats, The AsliCo, Kechara, Langit, Tumboh and others – see a full description here. I only wish they would list even more charities under them.
3. Dignity for Children Foundation
This amazing organization called Dignity for Children Foundation is a non-governmental organisation providing holistic care and education for urban poor children in Kuala Lumpur. A full list of how they help more than 1,860 children ranging from 2-19 years old is here. One of their initiatives is SewX – you can find their full catalogue here, everything from sewn ang pow packets to tote bags.
4. Helping Hands Penan
Next are those amazing hand-crafted bags you have probably seen at most bazaars: Helping Hands Penan. Assisting the hunter-gatherer tribe deep in the heart of Borneo, where they make a living using their traditional skills of basket weaving. If you haven’t gotten your hands on one of these bags, you need one! Perfect for gifting too.
If you’re looking for something sweeter: Deepavalihamper.com, wholly owned by Diyaa Fine Confectionery, a social enterprise. All the sweets are specially made by moms at home who are passionate and skilful in making the Indian sweets. Their sustainable sourced wooden boxes look super cute and although I haven’t tasted the fare, it looks yum. Not just for Deepavali!
You can also order online through their FB page here.
6. Earth Heir
I really like what Earth Heir is about: “We advocate conscious consumption, environmental stewardship and seek to help create sustainable livelihoods for craftspeople and disadvantaged groups“.
They have supplied to a wide range of corporate clients and have a wide collection of items you can gift – check out their hampers on page 73 of their catalogue. Their studio is located in Ampang and is open Monday to Friday. You can contact them here.
If you’re stuck looking for other charities to support, please check out Malaysia’s largest open directory of NGOs and social organisations here. Though some of the links may be outdated, it’s still a great resource.
Do you know of any other charities or social enterprises with great gifting ideas? Please do give the writer feedback – she would love to hear from you.