In part 2 of my Alternative, Guilt Free, Anti-Capitalist, World Changing, Non-Sucking Advent Gift Giving Guide I suggest that you give hope. What does hope look like? What does hope sound like? What does hope smell like??? Well for many people all over the world hope takes the form of a goat. Yes a noisy, stinky goat. Goats can provide much needed milk to a hungry family plus enable them to sell extra milk at the market to make extra money. This can make a big difference to a family dealing with HIV/AIDS and mean the difference between children getting an education and therefore a brighter future. And it only costs $80. For many families this year hope will come in the form of a goat.
Now there are many organizations that do this kind of work and over the past several years we have seen a preponderance of Christmas gift giving “catalogues” that provide opportunity for folks like you and me to give things like goats, chickens, medical supplies and education to deserving families in the developing world. What do you give that person who has everything? You give the gift of hope to someone else in their name. It’s a novel idea and you can give this way through Oxfam, World Vision and others. I prefer to use Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) and their Gifts for Mission campaign.
PWRDF is the relief and development agency of the Anglican Church of Canada and are engaged in efforts globally and locally. They keep costs administration costs low through minimal advertising by using local church networks to spread the word and by partnering with existing agencies on the ground to provide for the needs of local communities. Another good thing about the PWRDF Gifts for Mission is that not only can you give goats, supplies, and farming assistance but you can also support local efforts of developing first nations leaders in the church, youth ministry, and theological education.
But back to the goats. This is not only something that you can do as individuals and families, but also as churches, schools, offices and community groups. At St. Mark’s our Sunday School children are challenging us to raise money to purchase goats through PWRDF. When you give any gift of any dollar amount you can place one of the lovely goat Christmas tree ornaments they have made on our tree of hope. You can give $5, $10, $20 or purchase an entire goat. It’s a great way to get everyone involved and a exciting way to teach the children about the real meaning of giving at Christmas.
So this year I challenge you to give hope by giving a goat.