Do you resolve to help the less fortunate each holiday season only to find yourself falling short? It seems inevitable every year. We plan to give to more charities and spend less on things the people in our lives don’t really need. Then, we find ourselves way over budget and far from the reason for the season. If this sounds familiar, you can make a change today, right now with World Vision.
Since its start in the 1950s, this Christian Humanitarian Organization has been working tirelessly to fight the causes of poverty and injustice while supporting humanity around the world, where help is needed most. Through the decades they have worked with Vietnamese refugees, developed fertile land in Ethiopia, and even helped bring attention to the AIDS crisis, but there is so much more. Their work has stretched across the globe, and they believe in unconditional love to help every child possible.
Someone once said, “Things given in love and kindness always have the effect of making those who receive them very happy.” This is what World Vision lives by. They give from a place of true care and concern for the wellbeing of those in need and refuse to let children be forgotten in the helplessness of poverty.
Some of their more recent work has touched the people of Albania where 1,284 boxes with clothing and blankets for children and adults in need. The winters in northeast Albania are often difficult with temperatures dropping below freezing. Yet, World Vision made sure those in need received items to help keep them safe during the inclement weather. Roma families in the capital city of Tirana were also given warm clothing in blankets, and Anxhela was one of the recipients. She, along with 50 other families, had been forced from their homes when the landowners pushed them out. They left everything behind and took shelter in a Transitional Emergency Center where the rooms were often cold which was hard on Anxhela’s three month old son.
Anxhela said, “The clothes I received, for my son, for me, my husband, and the blanket for the baby really helped.”
When Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in 2013, World Vision was there to create the Women and Young Children Space in San Antonio, Ormoc.
A young mother, Susana, brought her daughter Roalyn to the center and was thrilled by the warm welcome they both received.
“My child is happy to come here,” Susana says. “There are toys for the children to play with. This is a safe space. Here I get to talk to other women going through the same issues as me. After the typhoon, we have so much to do to set our home. Here I got to know that we need to breastfeed my child properly so that she is healthy. We got a Breastfeeding Kit from World Vision so that I can provide better care for my child.”
Inside the breastfeeding kit, mothers received a bottle of water to help keep the mother hydrated, storage for the breast milk, a lunch box for food, a blanket for privacy during breastfeeding, and it all came it in a bag to keep the items together. In the space in San Antonio, there was room for over 100 pregnant and lactating women in order to maintain the health of their babies and unborn children even in the time of crisis.
I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Philippines with World Vision in 2014 for the one year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda (as known by the locals). I saw first hand the amazing work World Vision does not only for the emergency situations, but daily, for years, helping to improve the lives of thousands in many villages with infrastructure, education, skills training and most importantly – boosts in self esteem and confidence. Although I don’t speak the language, it really didn’t matter. The smiles and laughter of the people said it all.
I also had the unique opportunity to meet with the child I, at the time, had just begun sponsoring each month. Not only was I able to see how my monthly donations have benefited his family and his community, Prince and I spent an afternoon together, giggling and playing as if we had known each other all along. Although we had just met and hadn’t even had a relationship long enough to exchange our first letter, he was family and I loved him.
We also met with sponsored children who are now adults and listened to their emotional stories of how their sponsor families improved their lives during their up to 18 year sponsorship. They also expressed such deep gratitude for the unconditional love and wishes from a complete stranger thousands of miles away. The monthly sponsorship had such a profound impact on their lives, compelling each to strive towards their goals so they wouldn’t let their sponsor families down – so that the money and love they sent “would not be wasted”.
World Vision couldn’t make these miracles possible without the help of generous people offering donations. You can be one of the generous and help keep a child safe, warm, and healthy this holiday season. My own family has been blessed to have everything we need and so much more. Every time I argue with my son about wearing his winter coat, and wrestle his mittens on, I tell him how lucky he is to not want for these items. I also think about the children around the world that must face the elements without coats, boots, food, or even shelter. It reminds that it is part of my duty as a mother, a member of the developed world, and a person with empathy, to give back. It is hard to know who and how to give back, but World Vision is make it pretty easy. I can personally attest to the incredible change and betterment they can and do achieve with our donations.
Today is Giving Tuesday! Any gift given to World Vision today will be generously matched with a product donation from Thirty-One Gifts up to $2,000,000, so any donation you make will have twice the impact for helping families in need around the world.
The Thirty-One Gifts donation of product includes items like apparel, thermals, and totes. Last year, the Thirty-One Gifts blankets that were included in their Giving Tuesday match were used in World Vision programs around the world to keep infants warm and healthy.
You can choose any item to donate through World Vision today, but if you want to make a direct donation to support new mothers and their infants, I recommend the New Mother and Baby Kit!
If you can find it in your heart to give this holiday season, start here, start now while you can.