I am the first to admit that I sometimes get caught up in the frenzy of the holiday season. During those times, when I am out and about shopping, I tend to be as generous to myself as I am to family and friends. It takes conscientious effort to pull back and ask myself, “Do I really need that?” More often than not, I will indeed think twice about buying that article of clothing as I focus my attention on those less fortunate than me.
We all have reasons we donate to this charity or that. I myself have a heart for children, especially children in developing countries. I want to see them have their basic needs met—food, medical care, education, community support. On the other hand, as a believer, I also want people to be saved. Regardless of the focus of a charity, in the end I want people to have hope and a future. And that’s what the five charities I am profiling in this post promises—each one, by the way, catering to a unique population—hope for a better life.
Here are five charities I encourage you to check out this holiday season. It may be already mid-December, but it’s not too late to give! Sample gifts listed only; to see all the gifts available, please go to each individual website.
Canadian Feed The Children
Canadian Feed the Children brings help, hope, and happiness to children and families around the world.
Gifts Under $50
Soap Making Business Kit—Give a female entrepreneur in Ghana everything she needs to be part of a shop that produces and markets soap. $45
Farming Tools—Your gift of tools for use on farms will provide families with the equipment they need to grow fruits and vegetables for extra income and better nutrition. $23
Gifts Under $130
Women’s Credit Groups—Participating in micro-finance programs gives women the skills and self-confidence to save, use and pay back credit; budget; earn an income; and support their families. $120
School Latrine—The lack of latrines in schools creates a major barrier to education, especially for girls who may stop attending school if there are no facilities nearby. $125
Gifts of Hope from Plan International are real gifts that change real lives. Your donation helps transform the lives of children and families in developing countries.
Gifts Under $30
Medicine for Moms and Babies—Help save lives by providing malaria medications, antibiotics, and other important medicines, as well as supplies such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and delivery tables. $20
Baby Chicks—At first, a cute pet that encourages responsibility, once the chicks mature, they can help feed a family with their nutritious eggs, provide an income for women, and teach girls important poultry management skills for a better future. $17
The Papa Project—Programs to better involve fathers with their families include facilitating community fathers’ groups, where men can meet to learn and talk about such topics as maternal, newborn and child health; sexual and reproductive health, including family planning; and men’s roles in these areas. $27
Gifts Under $200
Stock a Pharmacy—Children are dying from illnesses easily cured with basic medicine. This gift will stop that from happening, helping improve the supply of medicine in developing countries. $195
Speed Learning for Girls—For girls who have never been to school or who have dropped out, these accelerated learning centres get girls caught up and back on track. $135
Peace, love, hope, and joy are the themes of the Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. And they are blessings you can give to children in need around the world with the World Vision Canada Gift Catalogue.
Gifts $50 and under
Winter clothing for children—Provides sturdy footwear and winter clothing to children in countries such as Romania. $35
Textbooks for children—Your gift provides storybooks and textbooks. After all, reading is key to every child’s future. $30
Gifts $100 and under
Rescue an exploited child—Children as young as 6 are forced into sexual slavery. This gift provides a child with education, counselling, awareness training, and more. $75
Mom and baby care—Help expectant or new mothers with this gift of prenatal vitamins, delivery kits, workshops, and more. $100
Gifts $160 and under
Goat + 2 hens + rooster—Give a family healthy eggs, milk, and cheese for years to come. $150
Beekeeping kit—Bees are a great business opportunity for families. With a kit and hive, one beekeeper can produce up to 50 kilos of honey a year to sell or trade. $160
Compassion Canada is a Christ-centred, child-focused, church-based charity. No less than 80% of the funds they raise will be directly used for program activities. Once a need is met, the remaining funds are used where the need is greatest.
Gifts under $20
Mosquito nets—Malaria is deadly but preventable. This gift provides an insecticide-treated bed net as well as training to help children and their families avoid infection. $10
Drought-resistant seeds—Give a family drought-resistant seeds and agricultural training so they can grow sustainable food. $17
Gifts under $100
Spiritual conference—Help teens develop as Christian leaders within their communities. $84
Bicycle—many children in Compassion’s program have to walk many kilometres to get to school or their child development centre. A bike helps them get there faster and safer. $90
The Gideons International
You can help someone discover for the first time that God loves them; that His light can shatter their darkness; that His hope can raise them out of despair. This is the gift you’re giving someone when you share God’s Word this Christmas.
Gifts $30 and under
Equip one young adult with 15 copies of the Gospel of John for distribution on university campuses. $30
Extreme poverty plagues Haitians. Your gift provides the Word of God—and hope—to 12 Haitians. $24
Gifts $100 and under
Place Bibles into the hands of 20 believers in China. $100
The Gospel of John distributed to 40 people living in northern Canada. $80
So many great gifts to choose from! I encourage you to engage your whole family in choosing one or more gifts for those in need. Not only will the recipient be blessed, you will be blessed to.