Black Friday and Cyber Monday will soon be gone, along with much of your budget, perhaps.
But for those who still have gifts to buy, consider a unique alternative—choosing from a non-profit gift catalogue. Gifts like an animal, a fresh water well, a school building (or affordable portions of each) keep on giving beyond the initiative dollars, providing necessary and renewable resources for our global neighbors. In many cases, the organization allows a donor to purchase gifts in honor of a loved one, sending a card to that honoree with details of the gift purchased in their name. If you want to reach beyond yourself or help your family make Christmas about more than their own gift exchanges, take a look at these catalogues from Christian humanitarian organizations.
Founded by Franklin Graham over 40 years ago, Samaritan’s Purse has aided the world’s needy through emergency relief programs that provide life-sustaining assistance to victims of natural disaster, war, disease, trafficking, and famine. Their food, water, and temporary shelters meet critical needs and give people a chance to rebuild their lives. Samaritan’s Purse’s community development and vocational programs in impoverished villages and neighborhoods help people break the cycle of poverty and give them hope for a better tomorrow.
Their catalogue lists affordable gifts for individuals and higher-priced gifts for which families or friends could join funds to purchase. IPad users can download an app to access the catalogue. Here is a sampling:
This is the ninth year for World Vision’s Christmas catalog. Last year, the catalog raised $5.8 million from more than 30,000 donors. “The gift catalog vividly communicates the needs of our global neighbors and explains the help that caring individuals like you can provide,” explains a promotional piece. “It’s a great educational tool for families that also helps instill compassion in children.”
Among a number of items, World Vision, donors may give Christmas gifts of:
The Gifts of Compassion Christmas Catalog also concentrates on providing needed resources for children in poverty. Well-known for its child sponsorship program, Compassion also funds and directs child survival endeavors, leadership development, and disaster relief efforts. Some favorite gift ideas:
Buckner International is a global Christian ministry dedicated to the restoration and healing of children, families and senior adults. Established in 1879 as the Buckner Orphans Home in Dallas, Texas, Buckner is one of the third oldest businesses in continual operation in Dallas and currently serves more than 400,000 people each year in more than 69 countries around the world. Their goal is to make life better for orphans, vulnerable children and families.
Gifts in the Buckner catalogue focus on donations that help orphans find their birth parents, provide pregnancy counseling to young women, fund child care, and support other family-oriented efforts. For those on a limited budget, the “10 Gifts for $10″ offers affordable options.
IJM seeks to make public justice systems work for victims of abuse and oppression who urgently need the protection of the law. IJM fights injustice around the world, focusing efforts on rescuing slaves, victims of sex trafficking, and more. In all of its casework, IJM has a four-fold purpose: victim relief, perpetrator accountability, victim aftercare, and structural transformation.
Their gift catalogue “Gifts of Freedom” reflects their work, with listed items such as bicycles for former slaves, business start-up costs, aftercare package for a freed slave, fund undercover investigations, train law enforcement, and the like. Suggested dollar amounts vary widely, as any donation can be applied to the greatest need.
Food for the Hungry implements transformational development programs in impoverished communities around the world. By collaborating with community and church leaders in areas with great need, they establish a host of developmental programs aimed at not only providing relief but also facilitating self-sustainment and growth. The gift catalog gives specific ideas on how individuals can help. From low-cost options such as water purification tablets ($24) to the more costly community well ($2,500), interested donors can choose from any giving level. Among the categories listed are animals, hunger, clean water, education, relief, and income generation.
The Alliance (C&MA) is a worldwide missions and church-planting movement. Physically caring for the needs of the marginalized and forgotten is foundational to what The Alliance believes. CAMA, their relief and development arm, provides a variety of relief and development ministries that flesh out the good news of God’s love for people. You can help build a vocational school in Senegal, or help support a seminary student in Cote d’Ivoire, or provide for orphans in Ethiopia. In China and West Java, new churches/training centers needs funds in order to be completed. Staff members in a variety of countries can always use additional support in their daily evangelistic work.
Gospel for Asia’s mission is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who have never heard His name. Christmas gifts purchased through GFA do this by helping the poorest of the poor and missionaries on the field.
GFA supports over 16,500 national missionaries who share the hope of Christ. The items found in the Christmas Catalog aid them in their work. Gifts include animals, water, sewing machines, bicycles, blankets, mosquito nets, Bibles, radios, and more. Donations from $1 (for 200 gospel tracts) to $11,000 (vehicles) minister to the missionaries and the people they serve.