As we prepare to drown ourselves in Black Friday deals from every store and enter a state of scary, budget-destroying spending from now until the ball drops, it’s important to keep in mind that there are so many gifts options out there that give in more ways than one. Enter: The Starling Project, an organization that creates luxurious soy-based candles whose sales help provide solar power systems for families in under-resourced communities without proper access to electricity. You get a little light, you give a little light.
In the short two years since The Starling Project was founded, the organization has given over $150,000 to UNICEF for solar energy projects in Rwanda and Chad, working to power schools, homes, and hospitals (where it's especially crucial for the storage of life-saving vaccines). Each candle sale provides energy for one family in need, similar to the FEED model of buy a bag, give a meal. The project even earned founder Sterling McDavid the UNICEF Champion for Children Award and the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama.
This season, the Starling Project is turning up the festivity a notch with a limited-edition holiday candle that will appeal to everyone on your list. The fragrance is a classic winter medley of woody pine and spice — it's cabin-y, but not in-your-face Christmas-y — and it burns for 60 hours, which is a whole lot longer than the bottle of wine you planned to bring as a hostess gift would last.
It might not be the be all end all solution to global health and poverty issues, but it's certainly a good start — and really, who couldn't use more light in their life after this year?
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