It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the “Getting” around the holidays. Not only what we will get, but we search for the perfect present at the perfect price, concerned with getting the best for everyone. Beginning today, we’re shining our spotlight on some organizations and businesses that can help you focus more on giving this Christmas!
1. Project 7
I’m ashamed to say that I wasn’t aware of the good work Project 7 does until last week. I was out of breath mints, so as I perused the items in the checkout lane at my local WalMart, one caught my eye. The box stated: This tray provides 7 meals in American communities. How could I not choose them? I got home and looked up the web address on the package and saw the impressive amount of good that this organization does. I love what they say on their Mission statement page:
[box type=”shadow”] You buy. We give.
Simply put, Project 7 exists to give. We are a cause-related company that makes every day consumer goods, like bio-bottled water, gum, mints and coffee. We aren’t asking you to buy more stuff, just change the products that you already buy.
For every purchase of a Project 7 product, some good is done in seven areas of need – Feed the Hungry, Heal the Sick, Hope for Peace, House the Homeless, Quench the Thirsty, Teach them Well and Save the Earth. Non-profit organizations supporting any of these seven areas of need can submit applications to Project 7. [/box]
You can purchase everything from breath mints (perfect for stocking stuffers!) and gum to shirts. Don’t forget to tell the recipient that their present helped feed the hungry, heal the sick, house the homeless, or the other incredible causes you can support. How awesome would it be for you to purchase a tray of mints or more and be able to tell your friends and family that their Christmas stocking contents are going to feed 7 hungry people?
Have you used any Project 7 products? What’s your favorite?
[button link=”http://www.facebook.com/Project7″ color=”black” newwindow=”yes”] Project 7 on Facebook[/button]
[button link=”http://www.twitter.com/project7″ color=”black” newwindow=”yes”] Project 7 on Twitter[/button]
[button link=”http://www.project7.com/store/” color=”black” newwindow=”yes”] Shop at Project 7[/button]
2. Operation Christmas Child
If you’re not familiar with Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan’s Purse, you should be. Every year, thousands of churches, groups, and individuals do a very simple thing: they put meaningful, fun, and practical items into shoeboxes and wrap them like Christmas presents. But that simple act means the world to the recipient of the shoebox. Each little shoebox is shipped around the world to children who otherwise would not receive a Christmas present.
The mission of Operation Christmas Child is this:
[box type=”shadow”] The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.[/box]
Next week (Nov. 14-12) is National Collection Week, when shoeboxes will be taken to collection sites and driven to packing centers for their final trip to villages and towns in the world’s most impoverished areas. You can find out more about packing your box here and then look up your closest collection site. Once your box is sent off, you can even Follow Your Box to see where it ends up!
In addition to Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse also has a Gift Catalog where you can support hungry, poor, and sick individuals by doing things like purchasing Household Water Filters, Dairy Goats, and Mosquito Nets that go directly where they are needed most. A few years ago, my family, my sister and her family, and my parents pooled our resources to purchase a goat with change we had collected all year.
Are you packing a shoebox this year?
[button link=”http://www.facebook.com/OCCshoeboxes” color=”black” newwindow=”yes”] Operation Christmas Child on Facebook[/button]
[button link=”http://www.twitter.com/OCC_shoeboxes” color=”black” newwindow=”yes”] Operation Christmas Child on Twitter[/button]
3. The 94 Store
As a mom, I find myself collecting a large amount of tote bags. Reuseable grocery bags, bags from conferences and events. My closet is full of them. But I’ll be honest…most of them are ugly and have no real meaning to me. The handcrafted bags from The 94 Store are completely different. These bags have meaning and purpose.
From The 94 Store’s website:
[box type=”shadow”] 94 is a brand of handcrafted bags that represent hope and empowerment. We offer training and employment to historically disadvantaged people in South Africa. When you buy from The 94 Store you are offering someone an opportunity to earn a living and provide for their family. There is an old saying, “Give a man a fish; feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; feed him for a lifetime.” We believe this is a key concept when engaging in social justice. Employment is a sustainable solution to those facing poverty. That’s why we’re making it our goal to train and employ as many people as we can.[/box]
When you buy one of the beautiful bags from The 94 Store, you are directly keeping someone employed. When you follow The 94 Store on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll see pictures of the women working and feel that what you’re doing by buying a bag for yourself or as a gift is truly helping someone. Read more about The 94 Store’s creation here.
Which bag is your favorite?
[button link=”http://www.the94store.bigcartel.com/products” color=”black” newwindow=”yes”] Shop at The 94 Store[/button]
[button link=”http://www.facebook.com/the94store” color=”black” newwindow=”yes”] The 94 Store on Facebook[/button]
[button link=”http://twitter.com/the94store” color=”black” newwindow=”yes”] The 94 Store on Twitter[/button]
Look for more Giving Lists coming soon!