So I read somewhere that today is Giving Tuesday. I don’t know if that’s a real thing or not, but I’m going to go with it because it makes me feel better about living in a world where people fight each other in the aisles of Walmart for the last flat screen T.V.
Fa la la la la – la la la la
And if there’s such a thing as Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Smallpox Saturday, then there should absolutely be a Giving Tuesday.
(I just made up Smallpox Saturday. I have no idea what that would actually entail but feel free to explore the idea further.)
Over the last few years we’ve reached the point in our family where we buy the kids presents and then make donations to various charities for the adults. I like this. It’s a way to give back at Christmas and considering that I am constantly cleaning out cabinets and closets in an attempt to have less stuff, I would so much rather spend money somewhere that can make a difference.
So in case this is something you do or might want to do this year, I thought I’d share three different organizations that I know are putting their resources to good use to help vulnerable children all over the world. I realize there are many other great charities and ways to give available, but these are a few that I happen to know about from the inside out.
My dear friends, Mary Katherine and Kelly Minter, are deeply involved with this organization. I have been so moved by their stories of traveling through the Amazon and seeing lives of children being changed.
Justice and Mercy International exists to mobilize the church to help the poor and the orphaned. They use their resources to provide services to rescue those who are often forgotten and vulnerable to dangers like human trafficking, diseases and extreme poverty.
Compassion International partners with local churches all over the world to help children living in extreme poverty. I’ve had the chance to travel with them to two different countries and have seen first hand the difference this ministry makes in these children’s lives.
You can sponsor a child for $38 a month, make a one-time donation to help the children in the Phillipines affected by the typhoon, or choose something to give from the Compassion gift catalog.
3. Arise Africa
My friend Alissa started Arise Africa several years ago after visiting Zambia. Since that time they have built an orphanage, developed a child sponsorship program and are actively working to make life better for these children and equip them for the future.
Giving to any of these organizations would be a great gift for the people in your life who already have everything they need.
On Sunday night we read the first passage in our copy of Ann Voskamp’s advent book The Greatest Gift and these words have stayed with me:
“The theology of the Tree, of the Cross, always seeks the presence of God in the belittled gifts of the world. The small Babe of Bethlehem, the dismissed Son of God, the stripped and beaten Messiah hanging exposed on the Tree – He begs us to spend the attention of Advent on the little, the least, the lonely, the lost.”
So, yes, I’m a fan of Giving Tuesday. Because that’s where we find Him. Among the little, the least, the lonely and the lost.