World Changing Gifts
During the holiday season, we sometimes get caught up with all the stuff we or our loved one want. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to give or receive a gift of specific items, this time of year can also serve as a reminder of how blessed we truly are. So, consider adding a world changing gift to your list of things to give.
More with Less is the perfect cookbook for anyone who is interested in global hunger. This cookbook focuses on “how to eat better and consume less of the world’s limited food resources.” Originally published over 25 years ago by the Mennonites, this cookbook continues to inspire households to be conscientious of the amount of food they consume and how small changes made in faith can have an impact on the world’s food supply. BYBlog contributor Quinn grew up with her mom using this cookbook on a regular basis. Her family also enjoys the other cookbooks published by the Mennonites.
Kiva is an organization which funds micro-loans, allowing the poor around the world gain access to funds to start a business or farm. Studies have shown micro-loans and micro-finance activities, such as those funded through Kiva, are an excellent way to empower women. When you give a Kiva gift certificate, your loved one can choose to which loan the funds go. Kiva funds many different types of projects all over the world. Your loved one can search by country and type of project. They will receive updates and periodic repayments. Once the loan has been repaid, your loved one can then re-donate the money to another micro-loan, lifting another person up out of poverty.
Sometimes, one simple act can change the course of a family. With a gift of baby chicks, a family receives improved nutrition and a source of supplemental income. These chicks come from Samaritan’s Purse, which is an international relief agency. So, while your loved one will not actually receive their own chicks, they will receive the joy of knowing they helped a family in need. Samaritan’s Purse and similar organizations have other animals and items you can give in this manner. You may be able to find your loved one’s favorite animal to give!
Another way gift idea is to sponsor a child through World Vision for a year in the name of your loved one. Organizations like World Vision provide clean water, health care, food, education, and other needed services to sponsored children and others in those communities. World Vision also works with communities to advocate for better social services, improved conditions, and better laws concerning issues related to poverty. Entire communities, even families who do not have a sponsored child, benefit from World Vision’s presence because programs are not limited to sponsored children and programs address both immediate and systemic causes of poverty.
This cross comes from Ten Thousand Villages, a store which sells fair trade items from around the world. It was produced by craftsman supported by Comite Artisanal Haitien. CAH is a nonprofit organization which helps rural craftspeople in Haiti earn a living from their skill. Ten Thousand Villages provides information about the source of all its products, both in store and online. This particular cross is made from cut metal, and is perfect to hang in any room.
Ten Thousand Villages has many different types of fair trade products available for sale both on their website and in stores throughout the U.S. For those of you in the D/M/V area, you can find locations throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia.
This post included a very small number of possible world changing gifts. So, find an organization or cause in which your loved one is interested. Make a donation in their name. Or, find fair trade alternatives to items on your loved one’s Christmas list. In a season which is often plagued by commercialism, we can sometimes forget the real reason we are celebrating. Taking the time to remember those less fortunate in our community and abroad is one way to keep the true meaning of Christmas in the forefront of our minds.
What world changing gifts will you be giving or hoping to receive this year?