I have so many thoughts about this I don't even know where to start, and I'm preaching to myself here too. I bought a lot of "stuff" this last week. Things that were on sale and I'll use for the rest of the year, but still, that's a lot of expendable cash going to things that will in the end, just be consumed.
We Americans are such a consumer society and if we're not careful it consumes us too. All the time spent shopping, and then organizing, cleaning, and finally purging.
Now I have kids, and they grow and so need new things, but still, we have too much. I'm trying to be a bit more mindful of what we have as I stretch that buying to another child, but it's so easy to pick up things here and there and before you know it, mountains of things overwhelm your home.
What if we flip this on it's head?
I wish Giving Tuesday could come before Black Friday. You know, give some away, before we spend every last cent on ourselves? It's kind of a Biblical principle after all!
I started thinking about the various organizations we've given to this year, or in the past. My inbox got flooded in the last few days with most of them so that made it easy to summarize.
There truly are so many worthy causes out there, but may I suggest starting with ones that are close to your heart?
For us, that means people. But it also means programs that benefit people long term, things like reforestation by The Eden Projects, who also provide jobs for people who have been devastated by that deforestation.
It means donating to organizations like International Justice Mission or Freedom Firm, who are actively working to rescue men, women, and children from all kinds of slavery. Or my personal friends, the Besks, who work with Go Zoe in Thailand.
It also simply means donating to organizations that are working to bring people out of poverty and hard places.
The Preemptive Love Coalition working with displaced people in Iraq and Syria.
Compassion International working with kids in poverty all over the world.
Kiva, making micro loans to help those in poverty help themselves (and they pay you back directly, or you can choose to re-invest that money over and over again).
Sister Connection, sponsoring widows in Burundi as well as helping them become self sufficient through micro financing.
And finally, one of my personal favorites, Village Schools International, working in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia WITH villages to build their own schools and provide education that is otherwise unavailable to almost all of these kids.
Many of these organizations have matching grants going on today that will allow you to double your impact.
Whatever you choose, will you think about how you could give out of your bounty to make the world a better place? What are your favorite organizations to support?
I receive nothing for telling you about these organizations, I just think they do really good work!