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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dec. Shopping Vicariously Theme - Sunday Alms Week 1

As with the November "Thankful" theme, I spent a bit of time jotting down ideas to support the December "Shopping Vicariously Through You" theme.

Several charities appeared within the jottings so I decided to do a theme within a theme.

December "Shopping Vicariously" blog posts on Sunday will feature options for "Alms-gifting". 

It is great fun and sometimes a true gesture of love and appreciation to give a thoughtful gift to a friend or loved one. And it could be exactly what they have been wishing for all year.  But if you're not quite sure what they've been wishing for all year, the thoughtful gift doesn't have to be a physical item. It could be a gift to help improve the world in a tangible way that doesn't mean collecting more "stuff".

Here's a very nifty gift option:
As you can see by the left side-bar of the blog and from previous blog posts, I support Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)/Knitters Without Borders as often as possible.

Doctors Without Borders work in nearly "70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation". I admire these people more than I can say. A wide variety of experts apply their energy and knowledge to help others. They can work in very dangerous situations where the need can be nearly overwhelming - but they make a huge difference. Donating to support such an effort is a gift on many levels.

Minor note regarding the offer I made in my July 6th 4-year Blogiversary post to donate funds to Doctors Without Borders for the first 4 comments left on that blog post. Two comments were left (thank you again Janel and Olgalyn!!) but TWO comments are still available to help me complete my Blogiversary pledge to MSF. Any chance you feel a comment coming on? 

Another Alms-gifting option:
The past few years I had adopted the habit of gifting my family and co-workers with Heifer International shares in Sheep, Honeybees, Trees, Rabbits, Pigs, Ducks .... you get the idea.
(They have a lot more share-options this year - "Gift of Clean Water", "Send a Girl to School", oh - "Knitter's Gift Basket"...cool!
More cool - Alton Brown recorded a message that neatly explains the Heifer Intl. premise.)

Heifer International assists families by giving them education and starter animal stock to help improve their "nutrition and general income in sustainable ways". This improves their lives and the lives of the people in their community because the "families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need".

Heifer calls that "Passing on the Gift" - so when I gifted my friends and family with a Heifer Share, I felt as though I was also "Passing on the Gift". I hoped that the donation and card that explained the premise of Heifer would help my friends and family understand the depth and effect of the gift I had given them.
A few of my co-workers were particularly tickled with the gift and adopted Heifer as a gifting option themselves.

So, there's a couple of Alms-gifting options. Yes, I must confirm that there are some types of "stuff" (i.e. YARN) that I find nearly irresistible (and giddy-hug-worthy) but how often do we wish we could do something on a much larger scale to improve our world?

Blessings Be and a lovely Holiday Season to you!

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