Monday, November 12, 2012
Gifts that Give Back (along with 6, 7, and 8)
6. Let your Kids see you Be Generous. There are so many creative and fun ways to do this, especially this time of year!
Participate in programs like Operation Christmas Child.
Lifesong for Orphans is giving out a special Advent Calendar that incorporates giving into your holiday season.
Take advantage of Christmas Catalogs that ministries like Compassion, World Vision and Lifesong put out. Consider cutting back on Christmas gifts and shopping these catalogs as a family with the money you saved.
Or ask friends to bring money to your birthday party instead of gifts and shop the catalogs as a group.
Purchase gifts that give back. We are That Family has a list of places to shop here. HKI (a charitable organization that raises funds for orphans in Suhn and Zak's province in China) is doing a fundraiser with Thirty-One Bags here until November 23. Scarlet Threads and Live Fashionable are two other organizations that will give back through your shopping support.
Whatever you do, let your kids see you do it! Take the time to turn your Christmas shopping into a teachable moment. Let your kids shop with you to fill the shoe box for Operation Christmas Child. Pour over the ministry catalogs together. This holiday season let your generosity be visible and contagious!
7. Sponsor a Child
We have sponsored children through Compassion International for over ten years. Two of our Compassion kids have aged out of the system. When the last one did, we decided to sponsor another child, but this time let Mya pick.
We now sponsor a child in Ethiopia who is about Mya's age. Mya is in charge of writing letters to her. She knows where she lives on our map, and whenever Compassion sends updates or our sponsor child writes letters it gives an amazing, personal teaching moment for our daughter on what life is like on the other side of the world.
8. Take your Kids on a Mission Trip
Many of these ideas will involve a sacrifice of time and money, but the perspective it gives our kids is priceless. Mya traveled with me to Zambia this past spring.
Mid-way through the trip she looked up at me and said, "Mom, the world is a lot bigger than I thought."
Exposing our kids first-hand to the way others live can be a life-changing experience that will encourage a global perspective like nothing else.
Your Turn: Please share places you have found where you can purchase gifts that give back, or any other ways you encourage a global perspective in your kids.