With Thanksgiving now behind us, millions of people will be scouring stores and websites for gifts for their loved ones in the weeks before Christmas.
If you’re looking to avoid the holiday stress, or if you’re looking to try something different this year, consider purchasing meaningful gifts that could impact lives.
“Fashion and technology are constantly changing, but when you choose to give a gift to help the poor in rural communities, such as donkeys, cows, chickens or pigs, you’re giving a gift that will keep on giving,” comments Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor, one of several organizations that have catalogs featuring life-changing gifts. “For destitute families these farm animals are a source [of] income and nutrition and will never go out of style.”
World Vision, another group with a gift catalog, reports that in fiscal year 2015 alone, more than 122,000 donors gave more than 297,000 items from their catalog, helping more than 650,000 people around the world.
Like most other gift catalogs of their type, World Vision’s catalog features gifts that range from $16 (the price of an average T-shirt) to $39,000 and can be purchased in a loved one’s name. Shoppers can also choose to send a personalized card describing the gift and its impact.
Below is a list of organizations that have gift catalogs, along with some sample gifts.
All organizations below are members of the National Religious Broadcasters.
Sample Gift: New Shoes ($25.00) – Shoes are an ongoing need for growing children, and shoes are also foundational to good health. A gift of $25 provides a new pair of shoes for a needy child in the U.S. or for a child in a developing country who may never have had a pair of shoes. Shoes help children stay healthy by protecting their feet from injury and disease. Why new shoes? They last longer, and as a gift to a child, they communicate volumes as to what that child is worth.
Christian Aid Mission
Sample Gift: Warmth to a Needy Family ($30) – Throughout the world, people in poverty suffer through extreme temperatures without the means to protect themselves against the elements. Blankets, heaters, and hot water bottles are a few ways Gospel workers can tangibly share Christ’s love with the needy.
Sample Gift: Water Wells ($34 per family) – Children in impoverished rural areas often travel long distances to collect water, which is frequently contaminated. Your gift allows Compassion International to construct a deep borehole well at a church or Compassion center; install a water storage unit, pump, and other hardware; provide one family access to safe water; and reduce cases of waterborne illnesses. $136 provides for four families, $340 for 10 families, and $8,500 for an entire Compassion center.
Sample Gift: Medical Supplies ($65) – Send urgently needed medical supplies to the poor suffering from illness and injury. $65 can care for 50 people or more.
Food for the Poor
Sample Gift: A Goat to Give Milk ($90) – Goats make a great gift for families working to create better lives for their children. A goat requires little maintenance, provides poor families with nutritious milk and cheese, and a chance to break the cycle of poverty.
Sample Gift: Loving Care for an Orphan ($35) – In some parts of the world, parents want sons so much that they abandon baby girls to die. In India, a Christian orphanage supported by Samaritan’s Purse has rescued dozens of these little girls from infanticide and is raising them to love and follow the Lord. Samaritan’s Purse supports orphanages like this in more than a dozen countries, providing loving Christian care for children and teaching them what it means to follow Christ. These are grassroots ministries that operate on faith that God will provide their funds. Your $35 gift to the Samaritan Children’s Fund can help make it possible for them to continue to provide food, housing, healthcare, education, and other necessities in the name of Jesus.
Sample Gift: Share of a Home for a Mother ($50) – In countries like Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi, single mothers struggle to protect their children. Imagine the desperation of trying to care for your children in a run-down, leaky hut. Your gift will bring joy to a mother's heart by providing a new or renovated home where she and her children can feel safe and secure.
Wycliffe Bible Translators
Sample Gift: Bible-based Textbooks to Children in the DRC ($60) - In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Protestant church leaders want to see Bible curriculum for 17,000 primary schools translated into all the local languages. The government-approved life skills course provides 24 lessons based on the Old and New Testaments. With an estimated 350 children per school, thousands of children could be touched by the Word of God in their own language each year. $60 will provide Christian life skills textbooks for one class of children.
By NRB Staff
Published: December 3, 2015