The holiday season is known for its overwhelming generosity and spirit of giving which pervades homes in the run up to Christmas Day. But it’s not just during the holidays that disadvantaged people need help and support. Here are a few ways you can make giving a priority all through the year.
Education is the best way out of poverty, but millions of children in developing countries only attend school for a few years before leaving to start work and provide supplementary income for their family. You can help by sponsoring a student so they can attend school from Kindergarten to University. Your student will receive things like school enrollment fees, clothing and new shoes, backpacks and school supplies for the year, Bibles, transportation to school, and food. You can establish a lasting friendship with your student as they send you letters with their progress, knowing that you are helping them have a better future.
Buy Something, Give Something Away
Every time you are shopping for something new for yourself or your home, think how you can give to someone who may need the same. For example, if you need a new pair of shoes, think how you can donate a pair to someone in a developing country. If you need a new kitchen table, donate your old one to a thrift store that provides funds for educational programs overseas. If you’re upgrading your old computer or laptop, think how you can provide appropriate technology for the disadvantaged to succeed in school or work. When you make this a habit, the possibilities are endless for giving to those in need all through the year.
Fair Trade Gifts
Sometimes it seems as if a family member, friend, or co-worker’s birthday is around every corner, and ideas for unique and great birthday gifts don’t ever quite catch up! If you think Fair Trade when shopping, you’ll always have a one-of-a-kind gift, specific to the area from which it comes. You can shop all around the world for handwoven scarves, purses, towels, jewelry, home decor, baskets, and even unique wedding gifts, without stepping foot outside. In turn, you help alleviate poverty by ensuring producers are getting the money they deserve for the products they make. This creates opportunities to help bring them out of poverty, transform harsh working conditions and invest back into their families and communities to provide much needed health and education programs. And with fair trade you know natural materials and ethical farming methods are used, so you can give these gifts knowing you are not harming the environment.
So remember that giving in not just for Christmas but with a little thought you will be able to give to the less fortunate throughout the year.
She had dreams of becoming a psychologist and working with abused and helpless children but had no money to return to school and continue her education after high school. Meet Lili, the first student to complete her education and obtain a university degree through Education And More's Sponsorship program. The program found a sponsor to give her, as she says, ”a new opportunity, a new future and a new life.”
Her letter to our offices tells of her joy. “Thank you for all the support during my 5 years of college, which without the help of our Lord Jesus and you, none of this would have been possible. It all started with a dream and thanks to unconditional support became a beautiful reality. I now have a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology and have found a job at an orphanage where I work with abused and abandoned children and adolescents. I’m doing what I love, helping and supporting children so they can have a new life and future.”
Then with a play on words with the Education And More’s name she says “thank you again for the education and more and thank you for supporting my country. May God bless you!”
The Directors of Education And More are so pleased to see one of the sponsored students go so far in their education and then give back so generously to so many others.
Learn more about our Sponsorship and Education programs
Other students who need just a little help.