The older I get and the more teenage mouths I have to feed, the more I realize how deeply blessed we are every single day. Even in the hardest times, I am blessed more abundantly than many on this earth and that’s not something I want to take for granted.
Maybe I’ll whine about the cost of braces or how the pantry shelves are empty when I just went to the store the day before – BUT – I live in an area of the world where braces are an option. I live in a country where there are grocery stores on every corner. Following Hurricane Harvey, I realized what it would be like to live with empty store shelves or not knowing when another food shipment would be able to get to you and it was terrifying. Yet in that fear, I still had assurance that at some point if it got truly horrible, our government would step in to help. Some people don’t have that comfort or hope.
So today, when I had planned to share another Christmas craft with you, I want to take a break and share with you four amazing
I’ll tell you a little bit about each one and why I chose to support them but take time and dig through their social media and read their website blogs. I’m asking you today to consider following one of them long term and give to them, on this Giving Tuesday.
We’ve shopped until we dropped and our fingers ached and now it’s time to do more – it’s time to give.
I first learned about Mercy Ships when I lived in Tyler, Texas during my college years with my dad. He tolerated my bright pink hair and free spirit and now I tolerate his constant pocket dialing of my phone. Years later he’s still in that area, living close to Mercy Ships headquarters and I never fail to visit him (and my sister who lives across the street from him) without meeting someone that works at Mercy Ships. This Thanksgiving I spent the day with one of their employees who I’m now calling my BFF, even if she doesn’t know it. It’s good people y’all!
What does Mercy Ships do? They sail giant ships into ports in Africa that act as floating hospitals and operating units. People come from miles and miles to line up and hopefully get life-changing surgeries to help them walk again, see clearer, or live a better life.
They invest in the lives of people who have nothing to give and give everything that they can to those people. I could tell you stories but their social media does a much better job. Check them out on Instagram or Facebook.
If you would like to donate to Mercy Ships or buy products from their store, follow this link -> Give to Mercy Ships on Giving Tuesday.
CERI – Children’s Emergency Relief International
CERI is a great organization that was founded in the town where we now live. That means that I’ve been able to hear
In a few
The cost to buy one pair of boots to be donated? $12. Two Starbucks drinks can do so much to save the life of someone that doesn’t have waterproof, warm shoes.
In the summer some other people from our church will fly with them to Africa where they will plant gardens and help people learn sustainable practices.
It’s a great organization that I know does hard work to make lives better. If you want to give to CERI, follow this link -> Buy One Pair of Boots for CERI
Mercy House Global
Many years ago, I started this blog because of bloggers that I loved such as Ree Drummond and Kristen Welch. What started as a blog and a sponsored trip with Compassion International changed Kristen Welch as they visited slums in Kenya and she saw the hopelessness for young mothers there. Her and her husband opened Mercy House, a safe house for pregnant women and young mothers that would teach them a trade and help them get out of the slums. Years later it’s grown and thrived.
Mercy House started selling products made by the women staying in the house to help support it and since then have grown to support women all over the globe who are trying to make a future for themselves.
They have beautiful products that would make wonderful Christmas presents for your loved ones and the sales go back to the women who made them.
Check out the Mercy House Global Store Online (but leave two of the decoder bracelets for me to order for my girls this Christmas.) You can also read more about the Mercy House Global story here.
California Fire Relief
My heart is broken over the fires in California. I saw our town be destroyed by water with Harvey but at the end of the day, when the waters receded, most people still had a home. During
One of the hardest truths we learned in Harvey is that there’s a holding period where you can’t really do anything as you wait on the insurance process to go through the steps it needs to take. People are sleeping in tents, not knowing what to do.
The second hardest truth, and this is one that I hope you hear loudly, is that people move on quickly. The help moves on to the next disaster. One of the best known disaster organizations that took in millions and millions of dollars for Harvey was in our town for 2-3 days, then they left and took the millions of dollars with them.
You can give to the big organizations but if you want to get money directly to the people living in tents or in cars, give locally. Call the area churches or local community assistant groups and ask if they have a disaster fund for the fires. Give to those funds because it will get put in peoples hands that need it right then. When things like this happen, people go to the churches for help regardless of their personal beliefs.
Churches with Disaster Funds Include:
- First Christian Church of Chico
- Magalia Pines Baptist Church
- Paradise Church of Nazarene
- Chico Church of Christ
We are blessed in many different ways. What if you just can’t give but still want to help?
Simple. If you want to help these charities or others but can’t give money, share their Facebook pages with friends or add them to your prayer list. Follow them on social media and watch for their needs, helping as you are able.
Give what you can, even if that’s just a simple click on the “share” button, that helps take the stories to people who might not have heard of them but also want to help.
It’s #GivingTuesday, let’s get to work.