The gift of giving

Mission Collage1

Previously, we looked at gifts that keep on giving, i.e., the gift of investments. Another great gift idea this holiday season is the gift of giving – making a donation.

In October of 2010, Typhoon Megi ravaged several countries, including the Philippines. My parents were born and raised there, and they were concerned for the well-being of their families and friends, as well as the buildings and places that were once part of their everyday lives. While my wife and I were unable to provide any direct help to those affected by the typhoon or give any assurances to my parents, we wanted to express our sympathy. That Christmas, we decided to make a donation towards disaster relief in the Philippines in my parents’ names. On Christmas morning, we gave them a card containing the donation receipt and an explanation of how the money would be used to aid the Philippines. My parents were very thankful for the gift and appreciated knowing that we cared about the same things they did. 

Do you have someone on your gift list this year that is passionate for a cause? Maybe someone you know has friends who were affected by Hurricane Sandy; a family member fighting cancer; or a passion for youth ministry. For Christmas this year, consider showing support for the things that matter most in their lives.

Here are a few unique ways to donate this holiday season.

Buy a goat.

Or a chicken. Or a water buffalo. Covenant World Relief’s Covenant Cares program allows you to purchase livestock for families around the world. These animals can be a sustainable source of income, food, and other valuable resources.

In addition to animals, you can purchase clean water, finance the construction of wells, pay for medical visits and medicine, and fund reliable electricity for medical buildings. The cost to do some of these things is surprisingly small: you can provide life-changing support for as little as $5.

Donate something other than money.

Coat drives are popular during the winter season (just be sure to donate new or like-new coats as required!) and food drives can always use more non-perishable donations. Many churches and other institutions such as the Salvation Army offer opportunities to sponsor less-fortunate children and families during the holiday season by purchasing Christmas gifts for them.

Another great thing to donate? Time. Volunteer this Christmas season. Do you have a friend or family member who regularly volunteers for a charity organization? Support their endeavors by volunteering with them!

Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs)

We’ve written about Charitable Gift Annuities before, and you can read about them here. Basically, a CGA is an agreement in which a person donates a certain sum of money and the charity agrees to make fixed payments to the donor (or someone of the donor’s choosing) for the rest of his or her life; the remainder of the donation is left for the charity.

If you consider making a monetary donation to a charity during the holiday season – or any time – look into a CGA. For more information, leave us a comment below, send us an email, or give us a call.

Are you considering donating time or money – or a goat! – for someone as a Christmas gift this year? If so, we’d love to hear about it!

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