Last October as I went to check my mail one day, I found a catalogue nestled among the bills, junk mail, and mags. It was from World Vision and it completely changed the way I look at giving gifts.
Instead of sending money off to a favorite charity, with the catalogue you can chose what to send to people of need in this country and others.
Last year I helped equip a medical clinic in my daughter's name; provided clean drinking water for a village in my sister's name; provided seeds and tools for three families in order that they might help themsleves,in my mother's name and provided food and clothing for three families in Canada, in my best friend's name.
All recipients recieved cards that explained what the gifts were and where they would be going. All my family was happy with this idea, so much so, that we all are giving gifts from the World Vision catalogue this year.
I think what captured my imagination was the fact that I could give help and hope directly through this method instead of simply sending a check and having no idea what was done with it.
But then, that's just my opinion.
It's just that I would perfer to see my money going there rather than subsidizing people who want to profit from the manufacturing and marketing of junk, a lot of it tied to the latest crazes.
When I mentioned "parasites" I was referring those who produce and sell inferior junk, not charities. Some of my favourite charites are "War Amps", Children's Hosp., food banks and Diabetes (my nephew has the juvenile type quite severely). I also am impressed with what Mowich says in the post above. Most of us in this country have so much and many don't realize it.
I hear you, JLM. My family, friends, and me are all of a 'certain age' when shopping for a gift is difficult because at this stage of our lives we have most if not all of what we need, wanting is another nothing. Rather than spend fruitless time deciding on what to get each other, we can now relax and simply decide which wonderful gift we can choose from the World Vision catalogue, knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of people who haven't got what they need, let alone what they want.
Ah FOOD! Trouble is my family is scattered all over the map in Canada and the U.S. and I have found that shipping food doesn't work all that well in these circumstances, though my daughter in Tacoma is always bugging me for cookies. She finally realized that the U.S. doesn't like that one bit as I might be shipping bombs or something.
I have family in the States, too. 1 in Germany. He sends this rum/plum thing I forget the name of, and we send him maple syrup. US relatives and friends get gift cards. We also send lottery tickets to people, too.