Friday, September 14, 2007

The Gift of Giving

This post was inspired by former President Bill Clinton. He was on Oprah last week talking about his new book about giving and Eric was actually watching it (he had a day off!). During the show Oprah mentioned a website http://www.kiva.org/ and how you can donate money to people in need through kiva and then they repay over time. Once the 'loan' has been repaid you can then take the money and invest/donate to another person in need. Eric instantly wanted to check out the website and couldn't get through because all of a sudden they were having tons of hits. Obviously a few people watch Oprah! We were able to browse through the website that night and saw tons of men and women in need a money to get a business started. We didn't donate that night and by the next day the website had no more businesses in need because of all the donations that came in the previous day. Now they only have a few businesses up and you can only donate $25 so more people can participate in the process. If this sounds like a neat way to donate, check out the website.
We love to donate money and we continuously donate to Las Vegas Rescue Mission, Samaritan's Purse, and Air1 (Christian radio station). The Rescue Mission takes in people that need food or counseling but also teach the gospel to everyone that comes through the door. We haven't found a local rescue mission here but when we do we'll have to start donating to them.
Samaritan's Purse is absolutely wonderful. For the last few years we participated in Operation Christmas Child through them. You fill shoe boxes or plastic boxes with toys, school supplies, and hard candy and they are sent around the world (mostly third world countries) along with the story of Jesus Christ. Hopefully we can find a drop off location close by locally, because our church in Las Vegas got us hooked! Samaritan's Purse also has Gifts of Hope where you can donate money to provide clean water to a family, buy a dairy goat, or an emergency kit for a family. I plan on donating money to buy a dairy goat for a family. I think it's awesome!
Another website I think is wonderful is the Christian Children's Fund. You can sponsor a child for less than $25 a month to help send them to school and provide food. Browse through the children in need and it will just break your heart. For Christmas I would like our family to sponsor a child. They also have tons of other ways to donate money through a Gift Catalog. You can provide healthy snacks to a pregnant woman for a day or a week, provide a glass of milk for a child for a year, or provide cancer medication for a week. Donate as little as $7 or hundreds.
These are just several websites that I just think are wonderful for giving. If you aren't used to giving regularly, you are missing out on how wonderful it makes you feel. So many people in the world make less in a year than what one of us will carry in our own wallet. It's nice to help out those in need. What are some of the places you like to give to (other than church)?

4 comments:

Tara said...

We work for, and donate each month, to Food for the Hungry. It's an international relief and development, Christian charity that serves the poor in Third World countries. We sponsor two kids in Peru each month and missionaries in China. It really does give you a great feeling. We got to visit our two kids in Peru in 2005 and it was awesome. It's wonderful that these kids know they have people in America that really do love them and pray for them and help take care of them. Check out www.fh.org for more about our charity.

That thing on Oprah is amazing! Wow, if she had one charity a week represented on her show, can you imagine the flow of giving that would happen? We are so incredibly blessed here in the U.S., how can we not donate to help others around the world?

Christy said...

That is amazing that you got to meet your two sponsor kids! I'm going to check out the website. Maybe when we sponsor a child we should think about a country we would like to see that way we have an incentive to go there. Great story! You're right, about Oprah should talk about one charity a week. It would help get the word out to people that like helping.

Tara said...

Yeah, that's one thing about Food for the Hungry that I think is so cool: they send short-term teams to so many countries and a lot of people get to meet their sponsored children that way. It's an invaluable experience.

Jill said...

We donate to the Make A Wish Foundation. Since my niece Jessa had cancer, we got to see first hand all the good things they do for sick kids and their families. It is a wonderful organization!!! Also we buy school supplies for kids. Through Justin's work we put together complete backpack sets for kids in the Denver area. I think people who do not donate constantly, don't know the joy that both sides get from helping someone.

Just in case you forgot. . . I love Bill Clinton!! Not all because of his politics, but because he just gets life and people. He understands the need for community and to help people out.