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charitable_christmas_gift
Compassion International is a Christian organization dedicated to helping children who are living in poverty. Below are some charitable Christmas gift options from the organization’s “Gift Catalog” that allows people to give to families living in poverty.

1. HIV/AIDS Care. A $25 donation can go a long way to providing much needed medical care to those suffering from HIV/AIDs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HIV/AIDS was responsible for an estimated 1.1 million deaths in 2013 and children are the most susceptible.

Compassion International estimates that 1,000 children are infected with HIV every day. Medical breakthroughs have helped curb the global killer, but the disease continues to rage on. This charitable Christmas gift donation would help…

  • Educate families on prevention techniques
  • Treat children and families infected through antiretroviral means
  • Provide care for those indirectly affected

2. Water Wells. According to Water.org, 663 million people do not have access to potable water, one in every ten people. A $34 donation can help provide clean and safe access to water for those that need it by allowing them to have:

  • A borehole well construction
  • The ability to install a water store unit, including a pump and other hardware
  • Reduced cases of waterborne diseases and illnesses

3. Goats or Other Animals. What many people may think of as pets, people in developing countries think of as a life source. Having a goat, cow or chicken can mean milk, eggs, wool or food for people living in developing countries. A $100 donation for livestock would help those living in poverty to:

  • Generate a source of income by selling eggs, wool, or milk from the animal
  • Become self-sufficient and less reliant on others
  • Establish a business by rendering services

charitable_Christmas_gift

4. Mosquito Nets. According to WHO, 438,000 deaths were linked to malaria in 2015. Most of those were deaths of children under the age of five. However, nearly half of the world’s population, 3.2 million people, are at risk for the disease. An $18 charitable Christmas gift donation for a malaria net would help in the following ways:

  • A bed net treated with insecticide to eliminate malaria transmission
  • Training on how to use the net
  • Education on ways to prevent mosquito breeding areas

5. Food for a Baby and a Mother. Malnutrition is something that is all too real for families living in developing countries. According to The Hunger Project, 98 percent of the world’s undernourished people inhabit developing nations.

It is also estimated that 795 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. Of those 795 million, 214 million live in Africa and 525.6 million live in Asia according to The Hunger Project. A $15 monthly donation can help mothers and children receive the nutrition they need to retain their strength. It can also:

  • Ensure health for mothers and children by eating recommended food
  • Put on and keep weight for better health and development
  • Help mothers and children eat appropriately by providing “fortified nutritional supplements”

The suggestions provided are only a handful of options. There are, of course, many other charitable options that can help people in need. For other charitable Christmas gift giving ideas, visit Compassion International.

– Alyson Atondo

Sources: WHO 1, Water.org, THP, WHO 2, WHO 3, Compassion 1, Compassion 2
Photo: Flickr, Pixabay

Lottie_Moon
Why do citizens in the poorest states give the most to charity? When it comes to statewide charitable funds, this question seems to arise time and time again. As for the reason – research has suggested the answer lies in religion.

In 2013, Southern Baptists gave approximately $153,000 to the International Foreign Mission Board through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Each Christmas, Southern Baptists participate in this tradition through donations. Who is Lottie Moon, and how does she continue to fight global poverty?

Charlotte Digges “Lottie” Moon was born on Dec. 12, 1840, to a wealthy Virginia family. She cherished education and became the first woman to obtain a master’s degree from a southern college. Around age 18, she became a Christian and desperately desired to become involved with foreign mission work. At the time, this field was closed to single women.

Moon’s sister, Edmonia, began writing to the secretary of the Foreign Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Henry Tupper. Surprisingly, he agreed to let them help, and in 1873 at age 32, Moon and her sister arrived in Tengchow, China.

Moon wasn’t there simply to teach her religion, she was a reformist. She taught school and was a strong advocate for women. Moon fought ardently against the women’s practice of foot binding. In foot binding, a woman’s toes are forced to curl down into her heel, producing a crescent shape. Even though foot binding was a symbol of the elite, it was painful and harmful to the body.

Even though many other missionaries fled, Moon remained in China during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Starvation surrounded her, so she took in children and animals, even refusing to eat if they could not.

She wrote home suggesting a week of prayer and offerings be set aside for missions during Christmas. People responded and the Women’s Missionary Union was born. The union is alive and productive in the South today; it collects more than $20 million annually for Southern Baptist mission work overseas.

Eventually, Moon herself fell ill. She did not want to leave China, but her colleagues sent her home on a ship. She died in 1912 on Christmas Eve, and there are conflicting stories about her exact cause of death.

Nevertheless, Lottie Moon has become a beloved friend of Southern Baptists and a martyr among missionaries. Sandra Spears, a Southern Baptist from Mississippi, said she learned about Lottie Moon as a child and has given to the cause for more than 50 years. It’s a tradition.

It should be noted that even though the donations received for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering are designed for mission work, they aren’t solely spent on building churches and supporting missionaries. Some of the work could be considered “humanitarian” as the missionaries provide meals, medical resources and a host of other critical needs that exist in developing countries.

A 7-year-old boy who was growing up Southern Baptist in the Deep South asked his mother, “When does Lottie Moon ever get paid off?” A humorous question from a child, but when it comes to lifting others out of poverty and giving to help others, the possibilities seem endless.

Dana McLemore

Sources: BDC Online, History’s Women, The Pathway, Cornell University
Photo: Wikimedia

ShareTheMealThere are 795 million undernourished people in the world today. That’s one in nine people who are not getting enough food to lead a healthy life.

Those numbers make hunger and malnutrition the number one risk to health worldwide. That makes malnutrition a greater threat than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Enter the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger today. Each year, the WFP reaches 80 million people with food assistance in around 80 countries.

As an initiative that relies completely on voluntary donations, two managers at WFP, Sebastian Stricker and Bernhard Kowatsh, have created a way to make donating even easier by using technology to fight global hunger.

In fact, thanks to them, donating is right at your fingertips.

That’s because they’ve created an app. It’s called ShareTheMeal.

Currently being hailed as the first of its kind, this free app allows iOS and Android users to fund food rations for as little as $0.50. While a small sum to most in the Western world, in other, poorer parts of the planet, the value can be life-saving. The sum is enough to provide the vital nutrition an individual needs a day.

“The simple act of sharing a meal is how people all over the world come together,” said Ertharin Cousin, the WFP’s executive director, “This digital version of sharing a meal is a tangible way that generation zero hunger can act to end hunger.”

Pilot tests for the app were performed in June 2015 across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Using the technology to fight global hunger, more than 120,000 users provided more than 1.7 million meals for schoolchildren in the southern African country of Lesotho.

The money coming from Thursday’s global launch of ShareTheMeal will initially be used to support 200,000 Syrian refugee children living in the Zaatari camp in Jordan who participate in the WFP’s school meals program.

“By Christmas, we hope to have gathered enough shared meals, to feed these children for one year,” ShareTheMeal’s head of growth Massimiliano Costa says.

Improvements to hunger and living conditions in refugee camps as well as among Syrian communities is widely viewed as crucial to encouraging Syrians not to embark on risky travel to Europe.

If the app does well, the project will expand to other countries and regions. The WFP is already looking at the numbers. With two billion smartphone users worldwide, that statistic outnumbers the hungry children in the world 20 to 1.

The United Nations’ has set the ambitious goal of ending world hunger by 2023. Perhaps ShareTheMeal is the answer.

Kara Buckley

Sources: ShareTheMeal, Forbes, Reuters, The Guardian                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Pixabay

Military-Order-of-MaltaThe Sovereign Military Order of Malta has a rich history of generosity. Also called the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the organization dates back to 1048. At the time, it was a military order in charge of hospital defense. Members in the Order of Malta were chivalrous and noble of nature.

Since its beginning, the Order of Malta has been committed with aiding the poor and suffering. Today, it operates in more than 120 countries, providing medical and social care, disaster relief, emergency services and assistance for elderly, children and refugees. For more than 900 years, it has cared for people of all religions and beliefs.

“There are 13,500 members world-wide, plus 80,000 trained volunteers and 25,000 medical and para-medical personnel, working in a large number of hospitals, hospices, homes for the elderly and a variety of other aid activities,” says Marchesino Daniel de Petrie Testaferrata, elected president of the Maltese Association of the Order of Malta.

The Order of Malta has diplomatic relations with numerous countries, which allows it to better assist others, such as helping the sick in areas that some organizations may have trouble accessing.

The Order of Malta has provided disaster relief assistance in The Philippines and Haiti. In Africa, it focuses on care for HIV patients; treatment for tuberculosis, malaria and leprosy; and clean water supplies for others. It also cares for refugees and orphaned children in Asia and the Middle East.

In addition, the Order of Malta has aided in Europe and North America. After Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S., the Order of Malta provided shelter while working on reconstruction projects.

Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s relief agency, reports that, in 2014, its aim was to spread medical supplies to regions affected by Ebola. This year, it is educating others in hopes of minimizing the disease.

For more information on the Order of Malta, visit its website.

Kelsey Parrotte

Sources: Independent, The Order of Malta, Saint Peter’s List,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Flickr

Mission_of_Hope_Haiti
In 2010, an earthquake killed over 200,000 Haitians and left crumbling housing infrastructure. Since then, homelessness in Haiti has steadily declined but more than 85,000 people still remain without a home. Rebuilding from the damage is the toughest task for the poorest country in the Americas.

Before the earthquake, Haitians lived in relatively poor housing built from inadequate materials. Haiti ranks near the bottom in the world in providing shelter for their citizens. Shelter includes availability of affordable housing, access to electricity, quality of electricity supply, and household air pollution attributable deaths.

The international community has been very supportive of Haiti. The EU provided $996 million to Haiti from 2008 to 2013. Money that was used for roads, education, food security, human rights, agricultural, electricity, and trade.

On a smaller level, charities and volunteers have been a strong driving force for recovery in Haiti.

Mission of Hope Haiti, a Christian missionary organization, provides education for people in the island nation. The organization has a partnership with Hope for Haiti, and the government in Haiti to build homes. Recently, Mission of Hope celebrated its 500th home built for the affected families since 2010, an average of 100 homes each year.

Every house has three rooms, land for farming, detached bathroom, access to education, water, two fruit trees, and agricultural training. The cost of each home is relatively low at $6,000.

Mission of Hope has educated 6,000 children, provided 91,000 nutritious meals each day, and housing for hearing-impaired families. Their work has helped make Leveque one of the best settlements in Haiti.

“Our vision from the first home built has been to provide those who lost their homes with a quality, cost efficient Haitian home that will not only provide a place to live but a place to thrive,” said Mission of Hope President Brad Johnson.

Homelessness in Haiti is still a serious threat to human security, but organizations like Mission of Hope provide solutions and help that will benefit thousands of people’s lives.

Donald Gering

Sources: EurActiv, Good News Network, Huffington Post, Social Progress Imperative
Photo: Google Images

Give-My-Money

There are countless aid organizations, charities and foundations working to fix the world’s problems. From technology-based companies to loan providers, to construction companies, to sustainable agriculture, the options are truly endless.

If you are a donor who wants to make a difference, but you are overwhelmed by the volume of deserving organizations, here are some tips on how to choose the charity that’s right for you:

1. Decide what area of support interests you.
Do you want to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, heal the sick and injured or stabilize a suffering economy? There are many different categories of aid that each function for different purposes. Decide which type of aid you are most passionate about.

2. Ask yourself who you want to help.
Maybe you are more inclined to help refugees escaping violence than children needing surgery, or maybe you understand more about providing technology to darkened communities than rebuilding communities affected by natural disasters. Different groups of people are affected by different conflicts and issues. Once you narrow down the country and specific group of people you want to help the most, it becomes easier to choose which organization will fit your needs.

3. Do a background check on the organization or charity.
Donating money can be incredibly rewarding and beneficial, if you are donating to the right cause. Many false organizations exist that scam good-hearted donors, exploiting their lack of knowledge about the aid organization market to cheat them out of their hard-earned profits. Call the office and ask questions about where and how your money will be used. Research the organization and look at reviews from other donors.

4. Ask fellow donors where they donated.
Asking local community members or friends and family where they like to donate money is a good jumping-off point. This will help to get your own ideas flowing.

5. Work for the organization.
If you have enough free time to volunteer at one of the organization’s events or intern in its offices, you can get a first-hand, inside look into how the organization operates and exactly what is being done to reach its goals.

6. Decide how much money you want to spend.
Many people think that donations to charity must occur in lump sums, but there are many flexible program subscriptions that offer monthly payments. Decide which payment plan is right for you and what you can afford to give.

If you follow these steps and choose your charity wisely, your donations could drastically improve or even save the lives of people around the world.

– Hanna Darroll

Sources: Forbes, Charity Navigator
Photo: Zero Hedge

Harper’s Bazaar China Leads the Fashion of Charity
When you hear about Fashion Magazine, you probably think of gorgeous ladies and gentlemen in luxury attires who have nothing to do with poverty. However, Harper’s Bazaar China has started “BAZAAR Stars’ Charity Night” and has proposed to “let the charity become a kind of fashion.”

Hosted by Harper’s Bazaar China, a famous international fashion magazine, BAZAAR Stars’ Charity Gala is an annual fundraising gala for Chinese celebrities who support charities. It collects money through an auction and the funding is used for charities that support causes for impoverished children, medical aids, disaster recovery and many others.

In 2003, a year when SARS spread in mainland China, BAZAAR Stars’ Charity Night was established due to the social responsibility of journalists in Harper’s Bazaar China. With the whole society threatened by an incurable disease, fashion journalists felt powerless in helping by merely advertising luxurious lifestyles and beautiful attire. Thus, under the suggestion from a famous Chinese singer, Na Ying, the journalists in Harper’s Bazaar China started fundraising through auctioning used items owned by celebrities to financially support people in need.

Through live telecast, the charity event has gained a lot of attention. Singers and dancers voluntarily perform at the event and movie stars dress up in glamorous outfits. The event is a good opportunity to advertise charity.

The first session of the gala collected 168,000 RMB, which made a hit in Chinese society. Thus Harper’s Bazaar China decided to maintain this program and try to develop it into a more influential social and charitable event. In 2004, the team came up with the idea to “let charity become a fashion” and encourage Chinese stars to support charities.

In 2012, the tenth anniversary of the charity night was held in Beijing. More than 600 entrepreneurs and stars such as famous actress Zhang Ziyi, martial arts star Jackie Chan, pianist Lang Lang and popular singer Jay Chou attended the charity event. During the auction, a painting by famous contemporary Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi was sold for 17 million yuan, the highest price of the night. Participants who didn’t auction any items were also encouraged to donate 100,000 yuan. The event raised a total of $6.3 million.

According to the organizers of this event, all the funding raised in 2012 was donated to several projects for poverty alleviation, medical aid for children and craniofacial cleft lip and palate treatment. In 2013, funds were donated to the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation and the Zhonghua Siyuan project to financially support the economic development of poverty-stricken areas in China.

In an interview, the Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar China, Su Mang, said, “People usually think Fashion has nothing to do with charity. Sometimes they regard charity merely as our strategy to gain attention, but I want to say that, if behind the glamorous dresses, there is a true willingness to help others, we should also applaud for them.”

Shengyu Wang

Sources: Baidu, CNTV, Youtube
Photo: Mod Bad

Charity_Challenge
Charity Challenge is a fundraising organization that operates in a different and peculiar way than many other organizations. They raise funds for different charities through various sports events or challenges around the world.

According to their website, Charity Challenge launches more than 100 sports events or challenges each year. These events vary from mountain climbs, bike rides, sky diving, dog sledding, skiing, among others.

The organization operates in more than 30 countries, which include places like Cuba, Morocco, Italy, Peru, Bolivia, Zambia, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Nepal, Ecuador, France, UK, and others.

Moreover, Charity Challenge supports various charities around the world that vary from different categories such as children, education, environment, animals, human rights, hunger relief, international aid, and many others. The participants of the Charity Challenge events can choose the charity they want to support with their donation.

Here are 6 Charity Challenge events for different disciplines:

Dalai Lama Himalayan Trek

This is an Himalayan trekking event where participants visit India’s exiled Tibetan community. The event includes visiting the Dharamsala, where the Tibetan community and the Dalai Lama are located, Uhl River, Taragarh Palace, the Taj Mahal, the Keoladeo National Park, and Fatephur Sikri.

This trekking event is in aid of any charity the participant wants to support.

Icelandic Lava Trek

This trekking challenge is about crossing the Landmannalaugar route through a very active volcanic area in Iceland. Participants are expected walk across snowfields, set up camp, and walk on rough ground. This event includes visiting the Blue Lagoon.

This trekking event is in aid of any charity the participant wants to give his support to.

Cuban Revolution Cycle

This is a 10 day cycling challenge that consist of an expedition from the Cuban capital, Havana to Trinidad. During this 350 km ride, participants have the chance to see the Che Guevara monument in Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, and Sierra del Escambray.

This biking event is in aid of any charity the participant wants to support.

Cycle Machu Picchu to the Amazon

This challenge counts with a visit to Cusco and the Machu Picchu ruins. The cycling challenge starts in the ruins of Ollantaytambo following the length of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and then to the market of Pisac. From the market, the journey continues to the Andes, the village of Paucartambo, Tres Cruces, and the Amazon rainforest.

This cycling event is in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Nicola Murray Foundation, Challenge Cancer UK, or any charity chosen by the participant.

Great Ethiopian Run

In this 10 km running event, the participants run with more than 40 thousand runners in Africa’s highest city. The challenge gives participants a chance to visit Womankind Worldwide’s project in Addis Ababa.

This running challenge is in aid of Womankind Worldwide.

Dog Sledding Challenge

This is a dog sledding event in Sweden. Participants have the opportunity to witness the Northern Lights and the local wildlife from the Swedish mountains. Finally, the participants arrive into Kiruna, a northern Swedish city that is home of the Sami, a European indigenous group.

This dog sledding challenge is in aid of any charity the participant wants to support.

There are many ways to support charities and good causes, and Charity Challenge is an adventurous and sporty way for participants to support thousands of causes around the world.

Diana Fernanda Leon

Sources: Charity Challenge 1, Charity Challenge 2, Charity Challenge 3
Photo: Bath Cats and Dogs Home

Celebrity_Quotes
Many celebrities have participated in charities for all sorts of causes. Here are ten celebrity quotes that will inspire you to give back, too.

“The truth of the matter is: you can create a great legacy, and inspire others, by giving to philanthropic organizations.”
– Michael Bloomberg, entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist

“I choose to rise up out of that storm and see that in moments of desperation, fear and helplessness, each of us can be a rainbow of hope, doing what we can to extend ourselves in kindness and grace to one another. And I know for sure that there is no them – there’s only us.”
– Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, actress and founder of Oprah’s Angel Network

“If you think of life as like a big pie, you can try to hold the whole pie and kill yourself trying to keep it, or you can slice it up and give some to the people around you, and you still have plenty left for yourself.”
– Jay Leno, television host and humanitarian

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”
– Taylor Swift, professional singer and the 2014 Most Charitable Celebrity

“With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts.”
– Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, investor and patron

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
– Malala Yousafzai, women’s rights activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

“Is the rich world aware of how four billion of the six billion live? If we were aware, we would want to help out, we’d want to get involved.”
– Bill Gates, business magnate, computer programmer and co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

“It’s about giving the gift of life to a stranger.”
– Leighton Meester, actress, professional singer and philanthropist

“If you’re in the luckiest one percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.”
– Warren Buffet, investor, businessman and member of The Giving Pledge

“We’re all in this together. Each and every one of us can make a difference by giving back.”
– Beyoncé, professional singer, musician and founder of BeyGood

Fallon Lineberger

Sources: Cause Cast, Daily Mail, Ecorazzi, Giving What We Can, Inspire More, Michael Bloomberg, National Philanthropic Trust, Oprah.com, The Giving Pledge, The Quotations Page, Twitter
Photo: Flickr

How a Saudi Prince is Saving Communities - TBP
Saudi Arabia is a nation with one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world, coming in at around $55,000; however, it is still affected by a decent amount of poverty, with an estimated 12.7% of the population living in poverty. Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud is seeking to change this in his own nation and several others worldwide.

Prince Alwaleed made his fortune through expert investment in American, Middle Eastern and European companies and now has a net worth of around $32 billion, making him the 21st richest person in the world. However, rather than spend this fortune on himself, Alwaleed has pledged to donate his entire fortune to charity over the course of his lifetime.

This is a model based off of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: he is seeking good investments and strong organizations that can help him better the global community and increase the amount of respect for Saudi Arabia.

Prince Alwaleed has begun his charity work with a project that is very close to home. Understanding that much of the Saudi native population is struggling, he has vowed to provide his people with 10,000 homes and 10,000 cars over 10 years. According to Arabian Business, this gesture is “an expression of [the prince’s] gratitude to the Saudi nation and its people,” and this small step is truly evident of the greatness that is to come.

The self-proclaimed “Warren Buffett of Arabia” has decided to enact these goals in order to promote cultural understanding, empower women and provide vital disaster relief throughout the world. Alwaleed’s philanthropic organization, Kingdom Holding, is not just focused on building communities: it also has interests ranging from a new Disney theme park to Citigroup, with much more in between.

Prince Alwaleed has recently signed a treaty with France, thus creating a French-Saudi investment fund that is worth upwards of $400 million. He has also invested some of his fortune in Kingdom African Management, which is a Nigerian company focused on exploring alternatives to oil.

While the current investments have mainly been aimed at fostering monetary relationships with other nations, the prince has several other plans to make a difference in the world.

The prince has a rough timeline of what exactly he wishes to do with his fortune, but this is subject to change as the state of the global community changes. Ultimately, it is an impressive and extremely altruistic goal that will allow for mountains of change and hope in the world.

With an increasing number of celebrities and wealthy individuals using their fortunes to do good, there is no telling where the world will be in a few years. The world has long existed in a state of haves and have-nots, but when people realize that society cannot progress without a little help, and are then willing to do what they can to help, it will become a better place and a stronger community because of that.

– Sumita Tellakat

Sources: The Huffington Post, Al-Jazeera
Photo: DW