Saturday, November 21, 2009
"Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”
I have always loved this quote. Contributing to self-sufficiency programs is such a wonderful way of giving because it sets the beneficiaries up for the long term, empowers them to help themselves, and preserves their dignity. But I think there's one part missing: the man's going to need a net, otherwise he's going to come home empty handed. The world is full of bright, hardworking people who just can't get a leg up because they don't have the infrastructure or can't afford a small capital investment to get started.
When the World Vision Gift Catalog asked me to blog about my thoughts on their unique gift-giving ideas, I didn't hesitate. I actually received the World Vision gift catalog a couple of weeks ago, and I think it's truly the perfect holiday present for someone who has everything.
Making donations in someone else's name as a holiday present is nothing new, but the World Vision Gift Catalog puts a personalized twist to it. You don't just make a straight cash donation (although you can, and they offer some beautiful free gifts when you make donations to their Maximum Impact Fund), you're buying actual items like donkeys or fish. Who would want a stinky old animal? A poor family in Rwanda would -- that's where your gift goes, and that's where the real Christmas spirit lies. Your gift recipient gets a happy, warm feeling, and the physical gift actually benefits people around the world who truly need a holiday gift.
There is such a wide variety of gifts and causes in this catalog to suit anyone's tastes. You can choose a cause that's especially close to your gift recipient's heart. For example, I would love to receive a couple of ducks because they benefit families in the Philippines, where I'm from. Or you can tailor the gift to your recipient's tastes and personality. For example, you could give soccer balls to a soccer fan -- only he won't be kicking the balls around, poor children in Africa or Asia or Latin America will. Or you could give a duck to an animal lover. Or a deep water well to a swimmer.
The only negative thing I can think of to say about this program is the obvious Christian focus, which could turn some people off. I don't know how many bibles or missionary pitches come along with the rabbits and sheep, but "Shining God's light on 100 million people" (that was on page 2 of their catalog) may not be something that an atheist or Hindu might want to contribute money towards. But honestly, it's hard to argue that this is a bad cause, whether you're Christian (disclosure: I'm a Catholic) or not. Helping people help themselves is something that every person of every faith, or lack of it, can believe in!
To help spread awareness of the catalog and all the great things you can do for needy families this season, World Vision has generously provided a beautiful piece of jewelry to give away to one lucky Bonggamom Finds reader! Depending on availability, the winner will receive one of the following:
A bracelet handcrafted in Uganda by women actively engaged in caring for children in thier communities who have lost parents to AIDS. This bracelet is a colorful reminder of how your gift is changing lives.
A handcrafted Thai necklace, available in either black or blue, constructed of wooden beads. This unique neck piece was made in a project that helps protect vulnerable girls from exploitation.
A handcrafted Thai bracelet. This lovely piece of jewelry was made in a project that helps protect vulnerable girls from exploitation. The beads are wooden, and the item is available in either blue or black
To enter, head to www.worldvisiongifts.org and take a look at all the wonderful presents you can give. Then come back here and leave a comment telling me which present you would give and who you would give the present to.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following:
1) Become a fan of World Vision Gifts on Facebook and post something on their Wall (leave a comment here with your Facebook id).
2) Tweet the message below, then come back and leave a comment here with a link to your tweet:
What 2 get this holiday 4 someone who has everything? How about a goat or pig from the World Vision Gift Catalog!
3) Tweet the message below, then come back and leave a comment here with a link to your tweet:
4) Tweet this giveaway (leave a comment with a link to your tweet). Here is a sample tweet you can copy and paste:
Win beautiful handcrafted jewelry from @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/yc77ore
Maximum of 5 entries per person. This giveaway ends at midnight PST on December 7, 2009; I will draw a winner at random on December 8 and post the winner's name on the comments section soon after. The prize for this giveaway is subject to availability: the winner will receive one of the three items listed above, but the sponsor cannot guarantee which of the three items will be sent. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I did not receive a goat or a pig or any of the samples in the catalog. And even though Alfie would love to get one of those Family fishing kits that the catalog offers, we both agree that many other families could put it to far better use. I'm running this post and giveaway simply because I applaud World Vision's efforts to help families create better lives for themselves, and I'm happy to give them the exposure on my blog. I did not receive any financial compensation, nor any of the items that World Vision offers as incentives for donors. sample or monetary compensation for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.