Gift Catalogs

When We Give

I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend! I know I am so thankful for all of you.

When we give, the advent season takes on an even more beautiful form.

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Amidst holiday shopping, remember Giving Tuesday is tomorrow!

Many non-profits will match donations on Giving Tuesday.

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One of my favorite holiday ideas is picking out a living gift from a gift catalog together. Look online or order a copy in the mail. Great options: World Renew, World Vision, Compassion International, Heifer International, International Justice Mission, OxFam, The Salvation Army.

In partnership with Pennies of Time Holiday Kindness Camp, I shared this past week about incorporating acts of kindness with Elf of the Shelf. Even if you don’t get into the elves, these ideas would work anytime during the holiday season.

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Here are 25 Acts of Kindness for your Advent Season:

  • Read a book together from We Give Books that donates another to a child without access.
  • Make a card for veterans and servicemen and women through A Million Thanks.
  • Plan an evening of caroling with friends at a nursing home (call activities director ahead of time)
  • Make kindness coupons for two neighbors offering leaf raking or snow shoveling services.
  • Give of your excess, fill a bag, and deliver to a donation center.
  • Invite the children of a single parent friend to decorate Christmas cookies with you and give their Mom or Dad time to go shopping alone.
  • Pick out a toy to donate to Toys for Tots or a low-cost Santa shop.
  • Take a hike and log your miles for the free app Charity Miles.
  • Invite a friend with a disability and their siblings to a movie party. Allow their parents a time away
  • Make handwritten notes for someone who could use encouragement. Send them in the mail.
  • Donate coloring books and crayons to your local WIC office
  • Donate to your local animal shelter.
  • Deliver treats with a thank you note to a community helper in your town (ex. firefighters)
  • Write a letter for The World Needs More Love Letters.
  • Donate socks and underwear to your local homeless or women’s shelter, this is common need.
  • Donate laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, or personal care items to your local food bank- these are often high-need items.
  • Make a special call to a Great Grandpa or Grandma or special friend that lives far away. Share what you love to do!
  • Cook a meal together and make extra. Deliver the extra meal to someone in need of a pick me up.
  • Deliver a special cocoa, coffee, or tea to a hard-worker teacher, coach, or leader who blesses your family
  • Make treats together and deliver to neighbors.
  • Fill out coupons for jobs you can do for Grandpas and Grandmas throughout the year
  • Make teacher Christmas thank-you’s.
  • Take a photo and upload to the app Donate a Photo, choose the cause you would like to support.
  • Serve your kids with a special surprise.

What was the highlight of your Thanksgiving Weekend? What giving traditions do you practice with your family? 

We loved my Mom’s pie, cousins, deal-shopping with my Dad, and a sweet visit from my in-laws all the way from Iowa. My favorite tradition- trying hard to slow down and a remember why we celebrate Christmas.

I’m also excited about two upcoming playgroups. Kids Helping Kids with Kids Food Basket, and Blessing Not Burden, with the OSJ Campaign and Zeeland Christian School.

Newborn Health

newborn health

New life emerges vulnerable. The loss of a new life is devastating. We can work together to ensure that more families do not have to endure such grief.

I am a Mom to two kids and one life lost through miscarriage. We all have a story to tell. Woman who give life through childbirth find themselves in a  very vulnerable space, good maternal health care ensures the best possible outcome.

When we make maternal health a priority, Mom’s around the world receive a gift of hope.

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Millennium Development Goal #5 is to improve maternal health. The MDG’s were designed to be reached by 2015.

The Global Newborn Health Conference will be taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa April 15-18. The world is joining together to reduce infant mortality around the world. The conference will be streaming live here.

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These are simple ways that maternal health can be improved globally:

UNAMIPhoto Credit: UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade

What Can You Do? 

  • Lend your signature to the Million Moms Challenge the right for every Mom to have a healthy pregnancy, a safe birth and a strong beginning. 
  • Two Degrees for every bar you buy a nutritional pack is donated to a hungry child. (Think TOMS for protein bars.)
  • Get involved in the Global Team of 200 partner organization Maternity Worldwide.
  • And the organization Shanti Uganda.
  • Pull out those gift catalogs and pick a gift that directly benefits maternal health.
  • You can follow the conversation at Twitter #Newborn2013
  • Watch Girl Rising and help support education to girls.
  • Read about PulseOx Screening for newborns.

Somali Refugees Dollo Ado Refugee receiving Camp in Ethiopia

Photo Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

What is your baby story? 

Involving Families: Gift Catalogs

Thanksgiving and Christmas move to the forefront during the months of November and December.

Be encouraged to make a difference this holiday season. Place a giving bank somewhere prominent in your home. Work as a family to collect change. Change can be used to purchase a gift through a gift catalog. A great family activity is looking through gift options on the computer or through an ordered catalog. Choose the gift as a family!

What a great message we are teaching our kids if alongside the toy catalogs are options for helping other kids around the world.

Here you can connect to the OxFam America unwrapped page.

Here is the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog.

This connects you to Compassion International’s Gift Catalog.

Here is the link to World Renew’s gift catalog.

Here you can connect to Heifer International’s Gift Catalog.

 

Here you can connect with the World Vision Catalog.

Stop back tomorrow for more ideas to teach your kids about global gift catalog giving! 

Involving Families: Gift Catalogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift catalogs are a unique and special opportunity for gift giving.  They also provide the material for a great family project. 

Gift catalogs are free to order and come through the mail.  Below I will provide links for ordering your gift catalogs.

Imagine the powerful message you give your children when beside the toy catalogs is a giving catalog. Reading through the catalog together is a great family activity.  Leave the catalog somewhere to serve as a visual reminder.  The World is vast, God’s people are diverse, and our impact can be so far reachingThe vision of your family will be broadened.

  • Page through the catalog together and choose a project.
  • Save up coins together to reach your goal.
  • Providing a new soccer ball or a Bible can cost less than twenty dollars.
  • Consider making a family binder that keeps a running record of all you were able to give throughout the years.

These also provide great goals for classrooms and Sunday school groups.  They are special gifts to give in honor of a child or grandchild for birthdays, births, holidays, or graduations.

The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee catalog can be ordered here:

http://www.crwrc.org/pages/crwrc_giftcatalog.cfm??utm_source=direchttp://

The World Vision catalog can be ordered here:

donate.worldvision.org/OA_HTML/xxwv2ibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?go=gift&&section=10389&prod=yEljTA_gzY_y10uRjRalDha7:S&prod_pses=ZG74ED6F28C3EE0191754C5B222CF6ED51714B7E8849EB2ADD0D9CEB2716A74E41C378F23A9C3D7FBADF3DBFD805C807F59A8460525C903161t&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=blessed

The Heifer International catalog can be ordered here:

http://sphere.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.204586/

The Oxfam catalog can be ordered here:

https://www.oxfamamericaunwrapped.com/home.php

The Samaritan’s Purse catalog can be ordered here:

https://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/Giving/gift_catalog/

I love that there are countless options!