As we head into the holiday season, I've been wanting to highlight some organizations that I really appreciate. While we give all year, we always try to give a little extra this time of year and to find some worthy causes. I am so grateful that my parents desired to instill in us a giving spirit and every year we participated in some kind of charitable organization.
Perhaps you are looking for a way to give this year. These are all charities that we plan to make a priority and perhaps these will be causes that you might consider also.
TWO HEARTS FOR HOPE: I personally know Kim & Stacy, the two founders of this great organization. They recently were recepients of an Angels in Adoption award. They champion a cause very close to our hearts. They raise money and donations for orphanages in Kazakhstan. Two Hearts recently was granted non-profit status so your donations are tax-deductible. This Christmas season, $15 will provide a Christmas gift for a deserving child. The very best part is that the child will be taken to shop for his/her own gift. It is a rare day that a child in the orphanages of Kazakhstan are able to leave their orphanage much less to buy something for themselves. When I learned about this opportunity, tears came to my eyes. We will never forget our amazing time in Kazakhstan and we will never forget the MANY children still there waiting for their forever families.
KARAGANDA KIDS: Muriel is also a friend of mine, fellow adoptive mom, and also passionate for the orphans left behind in Kazakhstan. She is accepting undergarment donations for her OPERATION UNDERGARMENT to send for the children in Karaganda. She will collecting donations of new underwear and undershirts for children age 2-5. You can find all the information at the link.
COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL: This is an amazing organization that reaches children all over the world. When I learned about Compassion earlier this year, I knew it was an important ministry for our family to involved with. We sponsor a little boy in Ethiopia and have even exchanged letters with him. We send a monthly donation to help with his schooling and needs. And we have a few opportunities every year to send a little extra for him. The ability to identify a specific child is so meaningful. We can show our children the picture as we pray for this precious little boy. There are many children all over the world still waiting for sponsors - you can choose a child today.
SAMARITAN'S PURSE: This is a relief and evanglism ministry and one of my favorite projects they sponsor is Operation Christmas Child. They have been doing this for several years and my parents had us participate in it - we LOVED it! We made an evening of it as we shopped for our boxes and tried to stuff as many gifts as possible into them. We talked about the children we hoped would love the gifts and imagined their delight - we knew we would like the boxes! :) We have done this a few times since being married and hope to enlist our boys help this year in choosing things for the special boxes. The deadline is rapidly approaching for this project so check it out! There are donation drop-off sights around the country and many around our city so you can find a location near you.
There are always local opportunities as well - with local missions, serving or delivering holiday meals, donating toys and clothes, participating in Angel Tree, and many others. I challenge you to consider how your family might be involved not only this time of year but all year.
Do you have favorite ministries?