I am not one to understand how the people out there who crunch numbers & survey things, ever accurately come up with the numbers that are presented to us readers, but I do trust when it comes to consumerism, world hunger, exploitation of women & children, labor violations, poverty lines, etc. that the numbers are actually even worse than the estimates provided to us.
I recently read that the Christmas/Holiday Season generates over $460 BILLION dollars in revenue. That number is astonishing to me.
How much more inspiring would it be even if that number were halved- where $230 billion were spent on the play things & the other 230 went to employ, empower & enrich the lives of those who are suffering just to eat or drink clean water, all over this world? Can you imagine?
I consistently hear people say, “I’d love to sponsor one of your World Vision children” or “I’d love to give back to those orgs & causes” but I just simply cannot afford it.
I have plenty of options as to how people can make that work, but rather than give you a lecture- I will give you some choices.
It seems no matter how strapped finances are, the straps come off during the buying & gifting season. Accommodations are made, resources stretched.
Wouldn’t it be nice to purchase a beautiful scarf, a hand made piece of jewelry, fresh coffee, a candle, & know those items you purchased also fed a family? Or took a woman & little girl from a brothel & provided them with decent work?
What if you gave a loved one or coworker a piece of paper showing that $30-$50+ went to a family in Africa, where in their name you purchased chickens, livestock, ducks, or even bought a wheelchair for a child in a village? Mosquito nets for a community to reduce malaria? Vaccinations for children that are free or required in our own country? That you put a child to school for a year…. even longer?
I mean isn’t THAT our greatest commission? Isn’t that what we are supposed to be drawn to do for others?
When the presents lose their luster, when the boredom sets in & the items start to become familiar & blend in with what we already hoard, wouldn’t it be nice to know our purchases for a purpose keep giving back & improving lives long after December ends?
That even when birthdays arise or weddings; anniversaries or Mother’s Day- we still have these lists. They still need us. They deserve to have what we do. These lists aren’t just limited to this holiday season. These are real human lives, people that we can assist in extreme poverty & crisis.
Little things like this, connected together, make HUGE differences across our nation & definitely across the world.
Would you please consider reviewing the list I created & take your time to peruse the beautiful things there? Would you pray before you do? Would you ask God to reveal where He’d lead you to help, so the list & the info doesn’t become something overwhelming, but instead a blessing? Could you make a conscious effort this season & the year(s) that follow to remember you can purchase & at the same time save lives & give a hand up to people who would give anything to walk in the front door of our lives?
Thank you for reading & supporting. Many of these companies & causes are dear to me & have been for years. Some were recommendations by friends who wanted to make sure these orgs were noticed & added to this list.
I am not personally sponsored by or employed with any of these organizations. I just have a ache to see people afforded the same opportunities that me & my family so often take for granted.
As I also tell those who say to me, “I really need to pray about purchasing, helping or sponsoring & get back to you.” In all honesty, I truthfully don’t think God is going to tell you no when it comes to helping others, especially where your purchases are concerned.
*as a reminder many of these purchases/donations are tax deductible
THE GIVING KEYS
Jewelry that employs & helps those transitioning here in the U.S. out of homelessness.
FASHIONABLE’s role in this story is working with women, both locally and globally, who have overcome challenges ranging from prostitution to addiction to a lack of opportunity. Every one of us understands what it means to overcome, and we are all ABLE to find purpose in the work we do. Thank you for joining us.
100% of profits are donated to fund girls education in Uganda.
147 MILLION ORPHANS
147 Million Orphans was created to provide the critical needs of children impacted by the orphan crisis and living in poverty. 147 Million Orphans provides food, water, medicine and shelter in the name of Jesus Christ.
When you buy from Amazima, you help employ Ugandan women, feed hungry children, and receive a beautiful piece of jewelry to show your solidarity with Uganda wherever you go. Each piece of jewelry is made by a hard-working woman in Amazima’s vocational program. We know these women and their stories, and we love them deeply.
Sseko Designs is a fashion brand based in Uganda. Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university. And it is working! Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree or has graduated from university and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place.
Mocha Club is a community of people, just like you, giving up the cost of a few mochas a month to fight extreme poverty in Africa. We walk alongside local leaders who identify local, sustainable, solutions.
To effectively put in place preventive methods to combat diseases that enter through the feet and to create a positive physical and spiritual difference in the lives of individuals in impoverished communities.
Thistle Farms is a powerful community of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. We employ more than 50 survivors through our social enterprises which include a natural body care company, Thistle Stop Cafe, artisan studio, and global marketplace called Shared Trade.
An online retail business where 100% of the profits would support the work of Africa New Life Ministries.
Human trafficking fuels the growth of organized crime, undermining health, safety, security, and the basic needs of humanity. It is the fastest growing crime in the world. We are a non-profit organization who believes that together, we can end human trafficking.
ABIDE FAMILY CENTER/STITCHED TOGETHER UGANDA
Abide Family Center is located in Jinja, Uganda and works to keep families together. They do this by providing business training and other supports to at risk families. After completing the four week business training at Abide, a select number of ladies are admitted to Abide’s intensive and on-site tailoring program, Stitched Together. When they graduate from the Stitched Together program they receive a grant of a sewing machine along with all the tools necessary to start their own tailoring business at home.
The Mercy Shop is a global marketplace and the beautiful products in this shop are made by women empowered by Mercy House. We engage women through maternity homes in Kenya and employment through Fair Trade Friday in more than 15 countries all around the world. By purchasing from this store, you are supporting these young mothers and their children. Thank you!
In 2002, the co-founders of Love146 traveled to Southeast Asia on an exploratory trip to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking. In one experience, a couple of our co-founders were taken undercover with investigators to a brothel where they witnessed children being sold for sex. This company provides education, training & empowerment from the U.S. to the UK & all over the world to prevent child & sex trafficking.
Freeset is a fair trade business offering employment to women trapped in Kolkata’s (India) sex trade. We make quality products, but our business is freedom!
WORLD VISION GIFT CATALOG
Whether you choose to give toward the gift of animals, education, clean water, disaster relief, clothing, hunger crisis, shelter, women & girls, medical care, poverty in America, handcrafted gifts & the list goes on & on; World Vision is a humanitarian organization globally impacting the world.
CHILD SPONSORSHIP, or ONE TIME/ONGOING DONATIONS, ETC:
SAFE CHILDREN COALITION
Under the leadership of the Sarasota Family YMCA, the Safe Children Coalition (SCC) is a collaboration between the YMCA and many local community entities who together provide a continuum of child welfare services for dependent children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Child protection services provided include case management, foster care, independent living and adoptions.
ONE CHILD CAMPAIGN
One Child Campaign was birthed with an emphasis on connecting individuals, families and communities who will serve with humility, advocate with passion and empower nationals through intentional mission trips. One Child partners with many organizations with a focus on solutions such as: child and family sponsorship, education, family preservation, job training, women at risk, trafficking, child reunification, clean water initiatives, creative solutions for orphans and widows, ethical adoption, micro-finance and community development.
THE ARCHIBALD PROJECT
The Archibald Project is an orphan care advocacy organization. We use media to tell stories.These stories advocate for orphans, educate on orphan care, build community, & inspire people into action. Because of our stories, fewer children are called orphan.
HELP ONE NOW
As a collective group of churches, businesses, communities, and individuals from around the world, we are dedicated to using our gifts, talents, and resources to help end extreme poverty, care for orphans, rescue slaves, and see communities transformed through our international partners. We actively sponsor kids, host garage sales to support initiatives, donate funds, participate in life-changing trips, advocate for the vulnerable, and much more. We serve in some of the poorest communities in the world where people live on less than $2 US per day. We choose to focus on people, not projects. We care for them deeply and we want them to experience how much we love and respect them.
Ekisa Ministries provides those living with special needs in Uganda, East Africa, a place of understanding and assists them in their physical, mental, and spiritual growth. By showing God’s grace to children in Uganda living with disabilities, we wish to see each child transformed by His glory. In Uganda, living with special needs is often seen as a curse, and it is not uncommon for these people to be shunned by their communities and even their own families. At Ekisa, we create a safe and nurturing environment for people living with special needs who need to know love, acceptance, and a place to call home for a little while. We also work with communities and families in an effort to change the negative views towards people living with special needs and empower families to better care for their child living with special needs. By empowering these families, we fully believe they will be the catalyst of change here in Uganda.
This is just for you. If you’ve been reading & researching this list, I wanted to include some book recommendations for you or for a loved one. Many of these authors are ‘do gooders’ who feed others souls outside their books. I wanted to give you a quick resource tool. Obviously, you can research the cost associated with each from your own fave retailer, but for convenience sake, I gave you links. I wish I had a giveaway for you, but as I collect these books or as I review for B&H, I will in time have them to offer. Many of these I have personally not read yet, but they seem to be changing lives across the board. Happy perusing!
BOOKS I THINK YOU’LL ENJOY:
BETH MOORE, AUDACIOUS
PRISCILLA SHIRER, FERVENT
SETH HAINES, COMING CLEAN
SARAH BESSEY, OUT OF SORTS
JEFFERSON BETHKE, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK
NISH WEISETH, SPEAK
FRANCIS & LISA CHAN, YOU & ME FOREVER
(100% of the net proceeds from You and Me Forever will go toward various Christian ministries that provide food, shelter, and rehabilitation for thousands of orphaned children and exploited women around the world.)
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas & Holiday Season! Thanks for reading & if you haven’t signed up for this blog, there’s a place over there to do so.