In the true spirit of Christmas and the giving season I would like to share with you some feel good gift ideas and ways you can help others. These are campaigns that I have a personal connection to and things that our family supports in one form or another.
Giving Diapers, Giving Hope (GDGH): Would you like to help put cloth diapers in more homes? In the homes of families who can’t afford ANY diapers? GDGH is a non-profit organization that accepts donations of cloth diapers and provides them to families who need them on a need basis. The organization is always looking for donations of diapers and money. This Christmas GDGH has partnered with PersonalizedFree.com. When you purchase a personalized ornament from PersonalizedFree.com’s selection of over 1,800 customizable ornaments, they will donate 10% of your purchases to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope. Use code GDGH at checkout to have your purchase count!
The Feminist Breeder, Onya Baby and HealthConnect One are helping to bring baby carriers to low-income women in urban neighborhoods. HealthConnect One is a non-profit organization that is “the national leader in advancing respectful, community-based, peer-to-peer support for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early parenting. Our vision is to see every baby, mother, and family thrive in a healthy community.” They operate in 29 States in the US. This group of people are asking for financial donations of any amount to go directly towards the purchase of baby carriers. Through this partnership with Onya Baby every $75 donated provides a brand new baby carrier for a woman. Donations will be accepted until Dec. 25th. Directions for donating can be found on The Feminist Breeder’s blog.
Compassion International: A few years ago our family adopted a little boy who is one year older than our son (now 9 yrs old). They share the same birthday which is one reason that we selected this special boy. Over the past 5 years we’ve corresponded directly with our child through the help of Compassion International. Compassion provides the necessities that these children need in other countries through food, shelter, education, clothing, and other immediate needs. They also teach these children about the love of Jesus. It’s been a great experience for our family to have this ongoing relationship with a child so far away. My kids both write and draw pictures for their “brother” and look forward to his letters. There are plenty of children just waiting to be adopted today.
Springs of Hope Kenya: I just learned about this project today while we were visiting a new church in our community (new to us – not new to the community). This was my first time visiting this church and I left there in tears after hearing Molly speak about the Springs of Hope Kenya (SOHK) orphanage and sewing center. Molly and her team operate an orphanage in Kenya for abandoned children who have lost their parents to AIDS/HIV; many of these children themselves have the disease. They have recently purchased the property that the orphanage sits on and continue to have additional needs for these children (food, education, clothing, etc). You can donate directly to SOHK by making a one time donation, adopting a child, or making a gift towards their education fund or many other general giving funds. This morning I purchased a BAGAMOYO handbag from the SOHK sewing center that provides jobs for widows and single mothers living with AIDS/HIV to help support and sustain their children.
Scholastic Books: For every Storia ebook you purchase, Scholastic will donate a book to a child in need, especially kids who lost their home libraries in Hurricane Sandy. My kids love to read and we use the Storia app on both our iPhone and iPads so they can read on-the-go. This is a great way to add to your child’s library while providing those in need with books also. It’s a win-win! To read more about the program visit the Scholastic blog.
Does your family give to others in need during the year or over the holidays? How do you teach your children about giving and how to be thankful for what they have?
Even with my own efforts to give to others I feel like my children have more than they could ever need or appreciate. They have so many toys that they don’t play with. They both have televisions and DVD players and iPhones (our old versions that are just for apps) and Nintendo DS’s and SO MUCH STUFF that they may play with a few times a month at best. No matter how much I try to explain how lucky they are to have the lives that they have it’s SO difficult to teach them about those who are truly in need – who may be in our backyard or across the world.
How do you do it? How do you teach them about giving – especially over the holiday season when it’s all about “I want!”?