It’s October 12, 2012. My Canadian friends are still recovering from Thanksgiving. We’re all preparing for Halloween. Few, if any of us, are thinking about Christmas yet. Understandably so. Although, the holiday does seem to creep into our lives earlier and earlier each year, doesn’t it?
I received something in the mail yesterday. Something that got me thinking about Christmas. Several years ago I did something I had talked about doing for years. Finally accepting that good intentions don’t really count for much, I made the move. I sponsored a child through World Vision. It’s a decision I have never looked back on.
First World Problems
Sometimes we forget just how blessed we are to live in North America. We really do have a charmed life. Even those that think they don’t. People joke on Twitter about #FirstWorldProblems. I know it’s in good fun. But it’s also a testament to how fortunate we truly are.
Did you know that 80% of the world’s population, over 5 billion people, live on less than $10 a day? I could spend that on lunch! Think about it. You could spend more on a couple cups of coffee today then what someone else has to live on for the entire day.
A Few More Facts
Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water
22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.
Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhoea
640 million children live without adequate shelter (1 in 3)
2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized
Sometimes, while I’m laying on my couch, in my heated apartment, with my indoor plumbing and cable TV, complaining because I can hear my neighbour snoring through the wall, I forget how great I actually have it. Is my big issue really that I haven’t got an iPhone 5 yet? Good grief! I’m still blessed beyond measure. We all are. If you have a computer and internet access that allows you to read this blog, you are among the richest people in the world!
Back to what came in the mail.
I received my copy of the World Vision Gift Catalogue in the mail yesterday. And while it may be too early for you to start thinking about Christmas, I’d like to encourage you take a moment to hear me out.
A Gift Giving Challenge
Do you really need more stuff? Do your kids? Your family? Your friends? Toys and appliances and clothes and gizmos and gadgets and batteries not included stuff that will be broken, buried in a closet, or forgotten (or returned) by New Year’s?
This year, as you begin to make your shopping list, let me encourage you to consider buying someone you love a goat. A goat that they can give to a community to provide food. What if you bought your children sports equipment or school supplies. Equipment and supplies that they can give to children who may otherwise never play soccer or colour with crayons. What if you got together with your family, friends or co-workers and bought clean water for five families?
I plan to do a lot of shopping for my family and friends out of the World Vision Gift Catalogue this year. I hope that you’ll consider doing the same. If Christmas is more about giving than receiving, consider giving gifts this year that will change lives. They might just change yours in the process!
For my Canadian friends please visit this link.
For my American friends please visit this link.