Always, Katie: 7 People on Your Shopping List Who Would Love a CARE Donation for Christmas

Monday, December 12, 2016

7 People on Your Shopping List Who Would Love a CARE Donation for Christmas

This post is sponsored by CARE but the content and opinions expressed here are all mine, as always. :-)

One of my favorite things to give as a gift is a donation in that person's honor, especially when I find a charity that I believe in and that I think the recipient would love as well. :-) So often around the holidays, trinkets and knick-knacks feel like they're taking over, and materialism threatens to overtake the warmth and love that the Christmas season should really be about. 

But donations are awesome, no-clutter gifts to give so many people in our lives! For example...

The minimalist
Pretty self-explanatory, but as much as it stresses *me* out to try to integrate lots of physical gifts into our already well-stocked home, people who truly value a minimalist lifestyle will be grateful for a thoughtful gift that doesn't take up any space in their homes! They'll appreciate the sentiment behind donating to a worthy cause in their honor, and they'll appreciate that you understand and respect their desire to minimize unnecessary "stuff." 

The person who has everything.
In the last couple years, my side of the family has started exchanging wishlists, but before that, it was REALLY hard to shop for a few people! My parents both basically just order whatever they want whenever, and it is SO hard to be clever and creative for them :-) We've donated to organizations in their name before, and it was well-received because it wasn't something they already had ;-)

The activist.
That friend who is always posting about the great causes she champions? Sponsor the cleaning of 2000 liters of water for just $41! The passionate feminist who works to improve conditions for all women, here and abroad? You can sponsor leadership training for a girl for $26, or sponsor child marriage prevention and services for $100. The teacher who wants all little kids to have the chance at an education? So many ideas from reference books (3 for $24) to designing and constructing girl-friendly classrooms (about $12k) with many levels in between. The friend who takes as many mission trips as he can to make a difference in the health, education, safety, or prosperity of those in poverty around the world? You can sponsor the building of homes, schools, farms, or clinics! You can absolutely melt their hearts by supporting causes near to their hearts! 
The softie.
This is me. When I read the stories of individuals like Magret and Maliyana who are desperately trying to support their families, whose lives have been changed or even saved by what seems like such a small donation to us, I am filled with the need to DO something. I love participating in Operation Christmas Child, I've always wanted to do an overseas mission trip (never been feasible with my health), and I get emotional holding fair trade beads made by someone who can now feed her whole family or even village. As a mom, and especially a mom of a girl, I have a big soft spot for girls who are in situations I can't fathom for my daughter - child brides, abuse victims, girls in unspeakable poverty, girls who haven't been able to go to school - a gift that improves these precious lives would be so beautiful to me!

The "oh, you didn't need to get me anything" friend.
You have one of these, right? Her eyes get wide when you hand her even the most modest of gifts, and she insists that it was NOT necessary, to the point that you almost feel guilty for having done something nice? ;-) This friend can hardly protest when she finds out that you've made a donation in her honor that will change vulnerable lives!

The friendly acquaintance.
It has recently come to my attention that our well-intentioned gifts of baked goods often go uneaten, because the acquaintances we give them to don't know how clean our kitchens are, or if we take possible allergy precautions. So, the mailman, your kids' teachers and bus drivers, even some neighbors... maybe they'd prefer a card that tells them you've made a small donation in their honor to a great cause. :-)

The last minute, on-the-way-out-the-door recipient.
You know when you're getting ready to go to a holiday get-together and discover that someone you weren't expecting will be coming? You have a little gift for everyone but your out of state uncle who surprises everyone with a visit, or maybe you forgot to get a host/ess gift for your friend hosting the big Friendsgiving or Friendsmas. When you "purchase" an item from CARE's online gift catalog, you can print a lovely card explaining your gift, slip it in an envelope, and have a thoughtful gift ready to go in minutes, without swinging through a store to grab a gift card on the way ;-)

Having recently discovered CARE, I am impressed with the diversity of ways they support women and girls - and therefore, whole communities. They've been around for a long time, since 1945, and have grown from sending basic necessities in cardboard boxes (the origin of the term CAREpackage! Love it!!) to survivors of war-torn European cities... to now helping women start businesses, providing clean water, teaching communities how to maintain those water supplies, equipping new teachers, and setting up clinics to improve outcomes of pregnancies and increase overall health through education, vaccines, and routine care.

Check out CARE's Facebook page for interactive videos that will introduce you to some of these women and their stories over the next several days. Maliyana, who wants to be a doctor and build a house for her hardworking widowed mother, Magret. Alinafe, who wants to be a teacher. Evelesi, who dreams of being a nurse. 

This is something I am really excited to be part of, and I hope you will be, too! Who else on your Christmas shopping list would love to have a donation to CARE made in their honor? :-) 

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