Christmas gifts that can change the world

How many gifts have you gotten at Christmas that you’ve forgotten about?  If you could remember how many, I guess you wouldn’t have forgotten them!  But do you think you’ve gotten gifts that would fall into this category? 🙂

And how many gifts have you given that you knew would mean very little to them?

How many gifts have you received that have been a one-year trend or mass-merchandised that were on your giveaway list or in the trash pile by the next December?

When we take the time to find out what gifts make a friend’s heart sing (or locate their online wish list), we love on them.  Loving on people we know is a part of changing the world.

When we take the time to find out what gifts make a stranger’s heart sing, we love on them, too.  Loving on people we don’t know is another part of changing the world.

This Christmas, why not give gifts that play a melody for both those you know and those you don’t know–at the same time?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17, NIV)

Here are a few ideas if you want help getting started.

Note: Click on any of the pictures to be taken to the website where the gifts are available.

Make this a Compassionate Christmas

Pair a Christmas gift you would usually give with a gift from Compassion International’s Catalog.  Compassion has a track record for stewardship excellence.

Give a gift of food and medicine ($13).

Give a gift of food and medicine ($13).

Malaria killed an estimated 655 million people in 2010 (World Health Organization).  Most of those deaths were African children.

Malaria killed an estimated 655 million people in 2010 (World Health Organization). Most of those deaths were African children.  Give a durable malaria net for $18.

For $84, you can feed a mother and her baby for six months.  For $13 you can give medicine and food to a malnourished child.  You can request a free card in the mail or print one off electronically that celebrates the gift.  If you use the card as your Christmas card, you are not only cutting down on expense, but you also helping a boy or girl in another country receive the same help you would want someone to give your child if you didn’t have the money.

Match the Gift to the Receiver

Samaritan’s Purse Catalog has a variety of blessings that can personalize the gift you are giving.  For example, if you are giving the gift in honor of a friend who teaches, you could choose to donate so a child can read and write ($15).  If a friend loves fishing, why not stock a fish pond in their honor ($50)?

Stock a fish pond ($50) and help an impoverished community.

Stock a fish pond ($50) and help an impoverished community.

If you are giving a gift to someone you don’t know well, or if you weren’t planning on spending much money, you can give something meaningful instead of something that looks cheap and will soon be forgotten.  Giving a blanket ($6) or milk for a week ($4) will mean far more to a child in poverty than some accessory that sits on somebody’s desk until they throw it away.  🙂

Help a disabled child receive medical help.  Children with disabilities are especially at risk in countries of high poverty where they may not be receiving any healthcare services.

Help a disabled child receive medical aid. Children with disabilities are especially at risk in countries of high poverty where they may not be receiving any healthcare services.

Samaritan’s Purse will also send cards.  You can print off the gift catalog online and cut out a picture of the gift you’re giving, if you’re a crafty person.  If you want to be extra clever, you can get a friend something that matches the gift!  For example, if you’re giving your friend a stainless steel water bottle for their jogging career, you can pair it with a donation for clean water ($15 for a family).

Shop to Bless

Bracelet $38, Indonesia

This bracelet ($38) is made in Indonesia under the leadership of Dewi, a local artisan. Go Fish Clothes & Jewelry provides jobs for many men and women on the island of Madura.

Damali Necklace $24

This necklace ($24, Peru) is that much cooler because it was bought at fair-price to provide income for someone in a developing country.

At Go Fish Jewelry and Clothing, you can buy gifts that help people in poverty.  Most of the gifts in the shop have

Artsy, Peru ($18).

Artsy for a good cause. Peru ($18).

been made by people around the world who use their works of art as a ladder out of poverty.  Supporting a store like this one is a way to get a beautiful gift and help people break out of poverty.

 

Give a Gift to Help End Nightmares for Others

Keep a girl in school

Keep a girl in school for three months to help her stay out of the sex trade industry ($60).

Gift of Christmas

Help women who live on the streets of India find out about the Christ of Christmas.  Give a present of food, clothing, and hygiene products.  ($20)

Rahab’s Rope is one charity dedicated to helping girls and women caught in sex trafficking to escape.  Rahab’s Rope has gift cards where you can buy, for example a month of sewing classes ($30) for a vulnerable woman who wants out of the trafficking industry, or you can pay for a girl to attend school for three months ($60) to help keep her out of the sex trade industry.  If you have any friends who are passionate about women’s issues or the rights of women, this is the gift for them!

Organic green tea from Nepal (15)

Organic green tea from Nepal ($15)

Bracelet, Rahab's Rope, $18

Rahab’s Rope also has a shop.  Jewelry or a gift from this store will remind your friends and family that they are helping women trapped in poverty to start a new life for themselves.

Bracelet $49 Rahab's Rope

Rahab’s Rope gifts help women in India escape both extreme poverty and sex trafficking. Turquoise, copper, and crystal bracelet ($49).

Rice sack purse. Large ($28) or small ($22).

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