Here's where some of my Christmas gifts are coming from and going.
First, I ran across this website called LIGHT GIVES HEAT (www.lightgivesheat.org). It's an organization made up of young people who moved to Uganda to see if they could make a difference. They have entwined themselves with an African community called SUUBI. The women of SUUBI make these beautiful bead neacklaces and jewelry from recycled paper. LGH buys them from them consistently and at a better price than locals could or businesses would, and then they sell them online to wealthy people like me. The money allows allows the SUUBI women to have a sustainable income. LGH also lives among the SUUBI community and does other stuff like cooking, washing clothers, and teaching English. Anyway, I bought a few of the $20 necklaces, and they are beautiful.
Next, I was doing some shopping in Whole Foods in Austin, the original store, and came across these FEED 100 bags. Basically, it's a shopping bag replacement, an alternative to "paper or plastic". Or you could use it for a purse or gym bag or diaper bag or luggage.
Each bag you buy for about $30 provides 100 school lunches for Rwanda children through the UN World Food Program. You can see the bags front and center on Whole Foods' website (www.wholefoodsmarket.com) or you can get the full story on the FEED 100 Project website (www.feedprojects.org). There's also a pretty cool youtube video here.
Right now I've got the boys bringing out the Christmas decorations. To get in the spirit, they surfaced the Christmas music collection, and I can hear carols filling the house. Each Christmas I really hope this will be the year I don't spend too much on myself—feeding myself, my family, my rich neighbors...buying gifts for myself, my family, my rich neighbors... Each Christmas I hope this will be the year that Jesus gets his birthday wish.
When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,
don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.Jesus