Last Friday I was doing my regular Friday ritual, lunch at my favorite Mediterranean restaurant, Aladdin’s, and then a trip down the street to Bridgette’s for an afternoon of nail papering with wine and trashy magazines, when I stumbled across some really extraordinary holiday gifts.
First, to create some context…years ago at a Barlow Girl concert, a Christian organization called World Vision gave the audience a chance to make a difference for people on the other side of the world. When they held up the sponsor card for Ontonio Brian from Africa I jumped on stage and started a new adventure in learning more about a world that was so far removed from my own.
For the past several years I have had the privilege of sponsoring Ontonio and his family to support them in having some of the basic necessities that most people reading this email may take for granted. While I am aspiring to my new home in the forest and moving to a weekly instead of bi-weekly massage schedule, many of these people are challenged with putting food on the table and having clean water to drink.
I regularly get opportunities to provide additional funds beyond my monthly sponsorship but am rarely called to do so. That is, not until I saw their holiday catalogue and some truly remarkable gift giving opportunities.
• For the cost of a night out you can provide a family with a goat and two chickens to provide nutritious milk and high protein eggs.
• For a car payment you can provide a farmer with two oxen and a plow, increasing their productivity by up to 500%!
• For someone with a little more money to spend you can actually provide a family with a house. They have these wonderful round homes called Mongolian Gers, the building of which, in one story allowed a mother and her children to move out of a one room shack that they were sharing with 10 extended family members. Imagine. I can barely.
• You can even buy a flock of ducks! (well, you can send 5 but I figure that must almost qualify as a flock.) For most of us we can go to the store and get chicken any time we want.
For most of us we can go to the store and get chicken any time we want. We can even have them delivered to our door, already cooked, with seasoning and a bottle of coke. This catalogue was a powerful reminder for me of how much we have and how little it can take to make a difference.
As I was having my feet rubbed, drinking my glass of wine, I read on with tears running down my face. Little by little my sheltered life gets opened up to the struggles of the world, and for this I am grateful.
If you are looking to give some extraordinary holiday gifts or perhaps take on serving a life on the other side of the planet you may want to check out www.worldvision.org.
Sending gratitude, abundance and awareness.
P.S. World Vision is a Christian organization and some of the money does go to administration and providing religious education in the communities. From my understanding it is not presented as a “must do” but as an opportunity which the people can take or leave. Just something I wanted to be sure you were clear on as you make choices about where to share your wealth. Love to you!