Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Service Ideas: Think Globally

Today's service ideas are dedicated to looking outside our own families and even our own communities.

#1--Sponsor an Orphan
My husband and I have had the opportunity the last few years to sponsor a boy who lives in an orphanage in Ukraine. For $75 for the entire year, it is amazing the extra things we're able to provide for him. I love that every year the time to recommit to sponsorship comes in December. As I'm making lists and stressing about decorations, I get a letter about the orphan we sponsor and I'm reminded about what is important and what is real. We participate through an amazing program (started by some of our family members) called the TOUCH Project. Learn how you can help here.

#2--Help for Haiti
It has been almost a year since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and there is still so much that remains to be done to help. The latest heartbreaking news is that cholera is rampant in Haiti right now, with many deaths and up to 1,000 new cases daily. Go here to learn more and find out what you can do.

#3--Operation Smile and Smile Train
For the last few years my dad and brother have accompanied plastic surgeons to places like Mexico and the Dominican Republic to assist in cleft lip and palate repairs. They do an incredible number of surgeries a day and come back with amazing, humbling stories. This work is done through programs such as Operation Smile and Smile Train. Obviously the doctors donate their time and services, but these programs need a lot of money for all of the set up, supplies, etc. That's where we come in. Again, see here or here to find out what you can do.

Obviously there are countless other needs in our world and great ways to meet them. These are just three that happen to be on my mind. Feel free to link us to any other great programs that we could participate to give a little more this season.



holtkamp said...

i love these ideas for christmas! i have a friend whose family has gone on a humanitarian trip every christmas. although it's just short term, the effects have been lasting for the 7 kids. an organization that does trips/expeditions i would recommend is CHOICE humanitarian:

Lindsay said...

Thanks for sharing these. I used to work for Operation Smile, traveled extensively on the medical missions, and can say that the work they do in those countries is nothing short of a miracle. A wonderful cause to support any time of year.

Kimberly said...

So inspiring. It's always lovely to read of the good that others are doing in the world, it offers encouragement in the face of such incredible need.

Joan said...

It's important to think outside our own individual bubbles. I feel like I don't even know what's going on beyond the boundaries of my own neighborhood. It is always good to be reminded that there is an entire world out there with people who need our help.

Sarah H said...

I just bought some jewerely from this website:
just like it says, it is made by survivors of human trafficking. From their website:
Our programs are supported not only by donations, but also by the efforts of our survivors themselves, who design and create unique fair trade jewelry, bags and gifts. 100% of profits are donated to survivors and shelters.
Thanks for the list!

Bridget said...

love this!! thanks for the ideas. i just gave to my faaavorite organization ( but this is a great one too.