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Head to the Giving Marketplace for Unique Gifts that Give Back

Come celebrate makers from around the globe

Author Kari Hanson

Published on: November 07, 2023

Woman shopping at a marketplace booth

Editor's note: This article was sponsored by the Gates Foundation Discovery Center.

The holiday season will be here before you know it. Rather than mindlessly click, click, clicking through your shopping this year, why not check out a marketplace that offers unique, handmade gifts and also lets you discover and support great organizations? Sounds too good to be true? Well then you need to check out the Giving Marketplace on Dec. 1 and 2.

History and mission

"Knit baby hat, bow, mittens, socks and a toy"
Pick up this sweet set from Awamaki for the little one in your life

Located at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Discovery Center, the Giving Marketplace began in 2015 with the aim of creating a holiday event that continued the Giving Tuesday momentum. At the Giving Marketplace you’ll discover great organizations doing work you care about, all while checking everything off your holiday shopping list. Beyond making a purchase at the market, shoppers can learn how to continue supporting participating organizations. From ongoing financial support to volunteer opportunities, the vendors at the Giving Marketplace are happy to share information as you shop.

What you’ll find

"woman wearing a bold colored dress"
Find your new favorite outfit from Zuri

At the Giving Marketplace visitors will be able to shop for gifts from over 30 vendors whose organizations support immigrants and refugees, women and girls, global health, education, the environment and much more.

The organization, Transformative Action for Sustainable Women’s Initiatives and Resources in Africa, known by its acronym TASWIRA, is back for their second year as a vendor. TASWIRA is an African art and design organization with the mission to empower women’s participation in the global economy and help close the opportunity gaps that exist internationally. Based in Seattle, TASWIRA is led by Avery Barnes, who is excited to be involved with the Giving Marketplace once again and to have the opportunity to highlight the work she does in Kenya to support women’s economic empowerment.

“I’m so grateful as a small business owner,” says Barnes, “to receive this invitation to participate for the second time at this year’s Giving Marketplace.”

Notable new vendors for 2023 include:

  • One Vibe - One Vibe’s mission is to create a liberated African narrative through collaboration among Africans “at home” and in the diaspora. Starting with the youth, they generate a future for Africa through cultural events, video content, education, music and the arts.
"bag of coffee beans from Poverty Bay Coffee Company"
Perfect for your caffeine-loving friends and family
  • Poverty Bay Coffee Company – Poverty Bay Coffee Company supports coffee farmers who are committed to sustainable agriculture. They pay farmers a sustainable price and work with independent importers who bring the best sustainable, direct trade, shade-grown coffees to market. Pick up some beans for all your caffeine-loving friends and family (and a bag or two to take home).
  • Radical Grandma Collective - Radical Grandma Collective is an international and intergenerational solidarity effort supporting environmental justice activists in Northeast Thailand. The “Radical Grandmas” are a self-organized group of women who sell their handwoven scarves to fundraise for the environmental justice movement in their home village. Pick up a scarf, bag or accessory for the rad grandma in your life. You know she’ll love it.

Find a full list of 2023 Giving Market vendors online.

Activities and more

Visitors can do more than shop at the Giving Marketplace. Find fun activities for kids, teens and families when you visit, such as art activity stations, where you can make your own gifts, and a variety of live performances.

If you are feeling crafty, you can try your hand at ornament and jewelry making with artist Lilia Deering. Walk away with lightweight miniature animals dangling from your ears, or a nature-themed diorama to hang in your home!

"A sloth, an rodent and a bull with names painted by You as an Animal"
A very special family portrait by Michelle Lassaline

On Friday from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. a very special pop-up featuring artist and illustrator Michelle Lassaline from You as an Animal is scheduled. Michelle paints portraits of people as any animal they choose using watercolor and ink. Each portrait takes just five minutes to create and will be free at the Giving Marketplace for guests.

On Saturday from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. create your own floral wreath out of foraged and gleaned materials. Jess Cheng will show you how to transform dried flowers and invasive plant matter into a fully biodegradable mini-wreath to decorate your home.

Visitors can also catch incredible live music, including:

  • Kenyan American singer-songwriter, Naomi Wachira, performing from 11 a.m.–noon and 1–2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1.
  • Mountlake Terrace Jazz Combot from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2.
  • Brazilian guitar musician, Marco Antonio de Carvalho, performing from 2–4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2.

If you go…

Location and cost: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center, 440 Fifth Ave. N., Seattle. This is a free event and all ages are welcome!

Date and Hours: Dec. 1 and 2, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Parking: The Discovery Center is located across the street from the Seattle Center near the corner of 5th Ave. N. & Harrison St. Pay lots are in the surrounding area and parking fees vary. Street parking is available on neighboring streets.

Sponsored by:

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