Christmas means a time of family, friends, fellowship, goodwill, and of course giving. But have we missed the mark when it comes to giving? Christmas is often followed by a “hangover” period of sorts. The tree is packed with gifts and our bellies are full, but we still feel “empty.” Our heart is asking for more, and it is an easy fix.
There are many meaningful gifts we can give to fill this void. In 2008 there were 2.2 billion children in the world and about 1 billion of them were living in poverty, 640 million had no adequate shelter, 400 million had no access to safe water, and 270 million had no access to health services. Christmas spending can truly make a difference by shopping from a different catalogue.
Plan Canada has many “gifts of hope.” Some of these include giving a family access to clean water for $75, providing a latrine and clean tap water to a school for $300 and providing a whole community with water and sanitation for $1,000.
World Vision Canada has a gift catalogue which includes providing a wood conserving stove to a needy family in a cold climate for $50, providing a solar panel for sustainable power for $150 and building a ger for a family in Mongolia for $900.
Other gift ideas include fruit trees, irrigation systems and live animals. These are life giving gifts for as little as $35. The government will match your donations, which doubles the power of your gift.
This is a great way to get children involved in giving. Children’s eyes light up when they receive that special gift at Christmas time. Their eyes will also light up when you show them a map of Angola with a picture of the people they’re helping.
Make Christmas truly meaningful this year by making a real difference through giving. Your heart will thank you for it.
Ryan Nield, Whitecroft
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