Saturday, December 01, 2007

... Christmas Alternatives

How a celebration of Jesus' birthday has morphed into a holiday where we buy each other gifts, I'll never understand. I mean, shouldn't we celebrate His life in a way that, well, that he spent His entire life teaching us to live? Shouldn't we honor Him by giving our gifts and love to those less fortunate than ourselves? Those He told us to take care of?

There are countless organizations out there that serve to provide funds to just these types of people. I thought I'd highlight a few I've come across recently. They are all different types - some faith based, others not, some you give money, some you support by making purchases. Check 'em out.

"BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads.

The beads thus become income, food, medicine, school fees -- and hope. It is a small miracle that enriches us all.

All profits from BeadforLife are invested in community development projects that generate income and help people work their way out of poverty."

"Highly skilled IJM investigators go to the frontlines of the fight for justice. They conduct professional undercover investigations and collect the evidence necessary to bring rescue and freedom to victims of trafficking, slavery and other forms of violent oppression. Help bring freedom to the oppressed by funding IJM’s investigations."

Give a half-day of Investigative Work $25
Give a day of Investigative Work $50

"IJM lawyers build compelling legal cases to aid victims of oppression and prosecute their perpetrators. IJM casework areas include slavery, police brutality, sexual violence, illegal property seizure and sex trafficking. You can empower our lawyers to represent those in need of an advocate and ensure that perpetrators of abuses are held accountable for their crimes by funding IJM’s casework efforts today."

Give a day of Advocacy $70

"Victims that IJM has rescued from physical and sexual exploitation need the support and expertise of highly skilled social workers in order to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually from the abuses they have suffered. By giving a day of aftercare, you can help to provide vital care for victims who are beginning their new lives of freedom."

Give a day of Aftercare $40

Give a day of Aftercare and a day of Investigative Work $90

"JustGive is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect people with the charities and causes they care about and to increase overall giving."

This is what I got Jeff last year. A gift certificate to JustGive. With over 1,000,000 charities to choose from, I know he was able to donate the money to the exact cause he wanted.

"Nest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of women in developing countries through the provision of small loans used to create sustainable, art- or craft-based, entrepreneurial businesses. The funds for these loans are generated through the sale of a unique line of clothing, accessories and merchandise for the home produced exclusively for Nest by a group of artists and designers."

Bethany listed a few on her blog and I know you all have some favorites too. I'd love to hear about them!


Jessica Rockey said...

Thanks for posting these. I love the holidays... giving gifts to those you love can be Christlike... but I agree that things have gotten out of hand (just read one of the rickard's christmas letters)!
As I was leaving a store last week, I was approached by some people volenteering for the D.A.R.E. program. I hate to walk by as if I don't care, but it's hard to know if things are ligitimate or not. Anyway, I just stopped and talked with them for a while, asked every question I could think of... and it just bothers me that so many people just disreguard them as if they have a world peace seminar to attend immediately.
I definitely think it's better to be proactive in our giving instead of waiting for people to 'hunt' us down. Nice food for thought.

Feed the Children!!! - " Oh... I couldn't possibly eat another thing... I'm stuffed!!! - Lindsey Bluth

Michelle said...

"giving gifts to those you love can be Christlike" Good point Jess. You're right!

Can't wait for our A.D. day. I'm banking on burning a few calories with the hours of laughing that are sure to occur. Death by Chocolate Cake Anyone?

Danielle said...

"Nest" sounds like a great idea! I'm going to check that non-profit out!

mbn18 said...

If you are interested in a new alternative for online fundraising, take a look at GiveStream ( It offers a set of free and easy-to-use online fundraising and community-building tools that help schools and other nonprofits create their own branded easy giving center.