I think it’s important to give back, be it with your time or your finances. My goal is to remember the promise and the love of Jesus this holiday season. I’m trying to spend less and give more because the gift of Christmas doesn’t come from a store. But why do we only give generously at Christmas? Why not change it up next year?
I have a challenge for you… in 2013, why not reorganize your budget to give more to others? I think it can be done without significant sacrifice, so what do you say?
If you’re reading this blog, chances are, you have a nice home with heat and clean clothes to wear. You aren’t hungry, and if the need should arise, you have people around you willing to step in and help you. We are wealthy in so many ways so why not challenge yourself to give up one luxury each month in 2013 to help someone who is truly in need? Just one thing? Maybe it’s a night out to dinner or the movies each week. Maybe it’s one less pair of shoes or one less scarf. Maybe it’s one less book or a few less iTunes purchases. I know I could give up one in each of those categories.
And why not start this month, at Christmastime? This season is such an easy time to give to others, and I want to help make it easier than ever to give back. Below is a list of organizations and causes I think are worthy of your time, money and support. I really hope you’ll consider giving more in the coming months.
- For only $35, you can give a family a clean water filter in Honduras! His Hands Ministries is run by Joel Aycock, a member of my church. Joel and his family are serving in Honduras and for $35 or $75, you can support clean water in a home. You can read more and donate here. For many of us, $35 is buying one less pair of shoes at DSW.
- Buy some dog food! When you pick up a bag of food for your cat or dog, grab an extra bag and drop it off at your local animal shelter. It’s inexpensive and definitely something needed in every town. Huntsville Animal Services just kicked off its Santa Paws program. It’s an easy way to help all year long. By giving up one drive-thru trip a month, you can feed an animal for a week.
- Pick up an angel from your local Salvation Army tree. While you don’t get to meet your angel, you have the opportunity to be thoughtful in picking out gifts and the cost is minimal for the joy you’ll bring to a child on Christmas morning. Some local chapters are offering angels online, like Nashville. In Huntsville, you can pick up an angel at Parkway Place Mall, Madison Square Mall or the Salvation Army office on Oakwood Avenue. The deadline is fast approaching, so pick an angel quickly!
- Speaking of The Salvation Army, it and so many other non-profits, are always in need of volunteers during the holidays and throughout the year. Look for opportunities to volunteer your time. For Huntsville and Madison opportunities with the Salvation Army, click here.
- Buy a sheep! This is one of my favorite causes. Four families will get a sheep (or maybe a goat) from me this year because instead of buying more video games or Legos for my nephews, I decided to buy for a family in need of sustainable food. When I shared with the boys what I was doing, they were so excited to be helping. So go buy a sheep! The good news is, you can give a family a pair of chickens for the cost of a single movie ticket!
- And you can always donate toward a diabetes cause! Visit Life for a Child to help supply needed insulin in developing countries. Or donate to your favorite diabetes charity like ADA, JDRF, DRI or DHF. All are worthy causes and benefit everyone affected by diabetes, regardless of the type. And I’ll be fundraising next year for my second JDRF Ride, so there’s always that option!
And lastly… Love. There’s no link for this one. It’s simple enough, but yet we so often forget to love. This holiday season, as you’re preparing to spend time with friends and family, as you’re shopping and volunteering, don’t forget to love those around you. As Christians, we’re commanded to love others, and it’s the easiest, simplest way to show Christ’s love. S0 no matter what you do this Christmas season, let it be done in love.
Share the love of Christ through giving to others this Christmas and consider doing it throughout the year. Make a difference in someone’s life.