Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Worst of Times; The Best of Times

An interesting juxtaposition this morning: I was watching Good Morning America; one feature was all about tipping one's service people during the holidays, approaching the topic with a kind of eye-rolling, resigned, "Oh, my God, how many people have their hands out this year?" attitude -- as well as with an assumption that viewers were all upper middle-class suburbanites. The very next feature was about donating goods in kind to organizations like World Vision, and spotlighted a family who, once a week all year, eat a simple/inexpensive meal and put the money they've saved on food that day in a special jar that, at Christmastime, they empty out and use to buy livestock, school supplies and other needed things for needy people around the world. I hope that I'm not the only person who had an attitude-adjustment experience watching these two stories in tandem.

In our household we are donating our collective loose change -- and it's amazing how this collects during the year -- to The Heifer Project , which provides people around the world (including households in North America) with livestock or trees, with training and support to help them leverage these gifts into needed family sustenance and income. The families are then obligated to share the offspring of their original gifts with other people in their community -- so the gift continues to give. We love doing this. And we bet you will too.


P.S. an after-thought said...

Heifer Project does seem like a good one, and easy to illustrate for children at church.

We have first hand knowledge of a couple of other good charities, which I've listed on my blog, in case you care to check. Or send an email my way with questions.

There is so much feathering of our own nests in this country, money that could be put to better use.

I was impressed by one aspect of the Mormons when we visited Salt Lake City. The members fast on Sunday, or perhaps, fast for one meal on Sunday, and donate that money to help the poor of their communities. Even the obviously well to do family we visited did this.

There is something to be said for making a bit of a sacrifice.vsjl

Jeff Greathouse said...

They are a fantastic organization that we have partnered with a few times.

I came across your blog on a search: one step forward - two step back. I am working on a message.

Kinda odd where search words will lead you. I look forward to browsing your site sometime soon.

Tom in Ontario said...

We stopped buying tacky and useless gifts for the kids' teachers and instead buy living gifts from Ten Thousand Villages. Last year they each had fruit trees planted in their honour. We haven't bought this year's gifts yet. I'm not sure what Ten Thousand Villages is offering this year in their living gifts festival