Monday, December 15, 2008

The Perfect Gifts To Give This Season

"Everybody says they need just one thing. What they really mean is they need just one thing more." -Rich Mullins

It's that time of year again: time for decorating the Christmas tree, hanging lights outside the house, and stress for hours over gifts for loved ones that more than likely will be completely forgotten by this time next year.

So here's your chance. Your chance to give the perfect gift. One that is meaningful. One that is a "one size fits all" kind of gift. One where the color will be okay, and even if you decide to go cheap, it still can change someone's life.

Where can one find such a gift? Go check out

World Vision is a Christian organization that helps people in need all around the world. Through them you can "adopt" a child with monthly donations. And I know what you're thinking....that this is another charity that wants a bunch of money to feed the hungry, but your money really might not even go to that purpose. Let me stop you there. First, 86% of all proceeds go directly to the humanitarian efforts World Vision is involved in across the globe. That means 86 cents of every dollar goes to help tsunami victims, orphans in Europe, single mothers in Africa, and children all over the globe.

Kathryn and I have been blessed to be a part of adopting a child through World Vision for over 4 years now. Her name is Stacy, a young girl from a village in Kenya. Every 3-4 months we'll get an update on her, how her education is going, how her family life is, and what she enjoys doing in her free time. We also get pictures of her every now and then. It's truly awesome to actually see the face of the person you're helping even though they're thousands of miles away.

And starting a few years ago around Christmas time, World Vision came out with a really neat idea: a catalog of various gifts you can give to help those less fortunate around the world! Just to give some examples:

-For $75 you can give a goat to a family. Goats produce milk, cheese, and yogurt, all of which are essential to the nourishment of young children in places like Kenya and Zimbabwe.

-For $225 you can get a donkey, which helps transport firewood or other products purchased at village markets.

-For anywhere from $20-$200, you can donate to the Orphan and Widows Fund, which helps meet neds such as food, shelter, education, counseling, and job training.

-For $70 you can send an orphan to school for a year.

-For $60 you can purchase 10 fruit trees for a community.

-For $100 you can help bring safety to a child rescued from child trafficking and prostitution.

-For $85 you can purchase a bicycle for a girl so she may get to school and back home safely.

-For $16 you can buy 2 basketballs to help bring fun and healthy exercise to a child.

The amazing thing about World Vision is that it goes beyond just the hunger needs. You can help build a home for a single mother ($2,000), provide a business loan for a woman ($100), help provide wheelchairs and prosthetics for disabled children ($25-$75), or help protect a family from malaria-bearing mosquitoes ($20).

Clean water, job training, newborn immunizations, school supplies for poor children in the U.S. The list goes on and on.

I know there's a lot on our list this Christmas. We have things we want and things we want to buy others. But really, don't we have what we need? Think about waking up, not knowing where your next meal was coming from. Think about walking 10 miles to a well to get clean water. Think about not having the many opportunities we have here.

Then think about how you can help people who face these realities every day.

God Bless guys, and Merry Christmas!

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