By: Robin Andrews
Peace, love and joy.
These are the phrases typically emblazoned on the wreaths and home-décor pieces found between Nativity scenes and Christmas ornaments.
But sometimes it may seem like greed, impatience and cost should be scribbled down somewhere for the realists among us.
When it’s not about a certain red-nosed reindeer or a lively snowman, when the holiday isn’t focused on Santa and his loaded sack, stuffing stockings and filling the space beneath festive trees, everyone shares one common goal at the end of the year.
Endless wish-lists and shopping sprees unite people across different traditions.
The season of giving so often turns into unsatisfied desires for things that can’t be manufactured or bought.
And consumers so often seek satisfaction at the end of long checkout lines and seasonal catalogs.
So often I even find myself forgetting to look further than the people in my own personal life and remember those who are struggling in the community and in the rest of the world.
The end of slavery is not a goal of the past. The efforts to give people clean drinking water and nights without hungry children are ceaseless for so many. The number of citizens of different nations in constant search of customers for their hand-made efforts to support themselves and their families in extreme poverty isn’t decreasing.
But there’s good news.
Despite the heartbreak of facing hard global issues head-on, thinking about more than commercials and magazines when brainstorming for the perfect gift can also emphasize the joy of Christmas.
Because everyone has the power to make a difference in any big or small way, and this list contains ways to do both. Technology makes it possible to support these organizations from your home even when they’re thousands of miles away.
Here are four of my favorite organizations and ways to give more, be fulfilled and serve this season:
FEEDING CHILDREN EVERYWHERE
Feeding Children Everywhere is based in Orlando, Florida. The organization manages to pack wholesome meals to help end world hunger with meals that only cost 25 cents. With an assortment of shirts, scarves, bracelets and even samples of their meals in mason jars, FCE has a ton of fashionable ways to help feed children – everywhere. And if you’re feeling really festive, look into hosting your own Hunger Event as a way to gather your loved ones and pack food for those in need this season!
BACK TO AFRICA
Back to Africa is a business development by Heart of the Bride, which is an organization that strives to help provide for orphans around the world. Back to Africa sells beads and jewelry bought from women in Kenya who lived in extreme poverty before having their beads bought and sold in other places, including Niceville, Florida. Now, the business estimates that more than 400 people are positively impacted by their efforts, and the women who were in extreme poverty a few years ago can now feed and clothe their families, send their children to school and buy farm animals to support themselves, their families and the people in their community who are still less fortunate. With gorgeous bracelets, earrings, necklaces, individual pendants and more, Back to Africa products are great for anyone who loves stylish ceramic and paper beads as well as wearing fashion jewelry that supports and empowers women and families halfway around the world.
TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS
To Write Love on Her Arms, based in Melbourne, Florida, offers messages of hope and benefits people who are seeking help while fighting against addiction, depression, self-injury and for suicide-prevention. From their original and perhaps most popular item, their shirts, to books, prints, stickers and bracelets, TWLOHA merchandise is a great way to spread hope and encouragement daily.
Sevenly, staying true to its name, gives 7 percent of its profits to a designated organization or cause every week. With shirts and prints, Sevenly spreads positivity with each item sold. It also has a great Give Bag program, specialized for either girls or guys with an assortment of great products that support programs that only keep giving back. If you love their Give Bags, also check out their Cause Boxes!
Merry Christmas to you, your loved ones and all of the people you’ll be helping this season! Cheers!