It’s just over 2 weeks until christmas! And that means time with family, presents, too much food, and most importantly for me, Jesus! But I’m not bible bashing here. The reason I’m posting is because regardless of the background, Christmas or the advent is regarded as the time “to be jolly”. To Deck the halls, put up a tree, put on painfully happy music (Mariah Carey?) and share a fun time of year with people that you haven’t seen since last christmas.
But everyone has a right to this jolliness. And in our world, there are millions of people who can’t have it. I’m not talking Crisco Hampers (although they are good too). I’m talking those who desperately need things we take for granted. Water. Hygiene. Food. Income. Shelter. Health. And so on.
So what can we do? TEAR’s “Useful Gift Catalogue” is an awesome way we can help out.
Here’s how it works.
You buy a gift for someone in your family or a friend. The money you put up for, say, a school supplies kit, goes to TEAR. You get a card to give to the person the gift is for. The money goes to one of TEAR’s foreign projects, with specific directions as to what it is for. A child in one of the countries TEAR supports gets school supplies. Your gift receiver gets a card saying that your gift to them was helping a child go through his education.
Some of the gifts in the catalogue include
–a goat (which provides milk, both for the recipient family and as an income source. They can buy another goat and breed them, with this income).
–School supplies; super cheap, but essential for the education and future of kids in places with many hardships
–A year of primary schooling. For HEAPS less than you probably pay in a semester of school for your kid, you can pay for an underprivileged child to go to school for a year. This is hugely important in the future of the community, and a long term solution.
–a toilet, in an area which drastically needs one due to lack of sanitation, vastly improving community health
If you are in a group, or feel like larger donations, there are larger projects;
–Well or safe water system. A little more expensive, this is definitely something worth considering in a group. According to The water project, 1 billion people, a huge proportion of the world’s population, suffer due to lack of acces to decent water. Providing safe water means providing life, reducing disease.
Thats just a few ideas. But check it out over at http://www.usefulgifts.org/viewall/
You can buy online from the TEAR website.
Seriously, this is a great way to help out, and it’s something that, in the season of giving, we should take very seriously, and make gifts that actually mean something.