Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I've been thinking a lot this season about Christmas gifts and spending. I know spending and finances have been on the minds of a lot of folks, especially this year, but even aside from trying to save a buck or two, I've been feeling a real urge to pare down our Christmases more each year. Just the basic thought of Do More Spend Less. I ran across this video last week that only emphasized my convictions.

I don't mean to be preachy. I just wanted to share what's been on my heart as we get ready for Christmas this year. I just wanted to give a gentle reminder of how abundantly blessed most of us are in this country. A reminder that we don't have to look far to find people, families, children less fortunate than we can even imagine. A reminder that while we are stressing about how much to spend on Cousin Fred, there is someone else with a bigger problem. A life or death issue. In both our country and in far off places.

I know sometimes people go into the holiday season with every intention to be charitable, but then not much ever comes of it because they might just be at a loss of where to go, of what to do. So real quick, I thought I might just list a few simple, simple ideas for you if you're looking for a direction in giving.

Operation Christmas Child
Angel Tree
Toys for Tots
Heifer International

If you're local, you may have heard of the ShoeMan. A St. Louis man has made it his mission to do his part in providing drinking water to a village in Kenya. His method? To collect shoes. He works with a clothing recycling company who pays him 35 cents per pound of used shoes. He's turning in shoes and collecting that money to finance a gift of a well-digging rig in Kenya. Imagine the gift of free drinkable water to those people. And all we have to do is give the ShoeMan the shoes our kids have outgrown, the shoes we bought and never really wore, the shoes that we have that have gone out of style. Our MOPS group brought in shoes today and I was amazed at the bags of shoes covering the table and piled under on the floor. Shoes that were just sitting around our houses. It was such a stark reminder of the over abundance of things we have in this country... this huge pile was a small group of womens' "discarded" footwear and to think that people in other countries die every day from diseases picked up through their feet or go from birth to death having never worn a pair of shoes.
Here are some articles about both the shoe drive and the mission to finance the well-digging equipment along with contact or drop off info if you are interested.

Here also is a link to Living Water International if you want to simply give to that cause.

I'm not familiar with many other local ministries or opportunities specifically in the area yet, being this is only our second year here.

Have you thought about Christmas beyond the gifts under your tree this year?
What is your favorite organization to give your time or resources to?
Is that a holiday time thing for your family or something you do year round??


Christy said...

I love love love this post. It's going on my blog with some thoughts. Thanks Heather!!

Amy said...

That was so cool!! I have to post that on my Blog and link you. ;)

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