Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Gift For You

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
These beautiful words came to me via an email,
from a friend who closes her messages with a daily sentiment
so I know it was on Martin Luther King Day this year when I got it.
I loved the words so much I placed them at the bottom of my blog page
as a constant reminder, a subtle motto, if you will.
Like you, I went through shock, heartbreak, anger and dispair
with yesterday's tragic news. While going through my mind
what seemed to be an endless string of recent horrific events and
thinking we're all doomed to a deep decline to you-know-where,
I remembered, and quickly snapped to.

If you know me, I'm always late. But I am early this time.
For this was going to be my Christmas post.
Many years ago, I learned of another beautiful concept:
the Alternative Christmas Market, an effort to reclaim
the Christmas story by offering some options
to the consumer frenzy that has taken over the season.
I've sent five gifts and one of them is for you:
Floresta (Plant with Purpose) - The poorest farmers get the worst land to farm, often steep hillsides vulnerable to erosion. Planting trees controls erosion and improves soil fertility, leading to better crop productivity and income. Trees can reduce disease by improving water and air quality. Trees can also provide fruit to eat and wood to use or sell for additional family income, helping to keep families together because men no longer need to leave their villages to find work to feed their families. Last year, more than 700,000 trees were planted.
Pay it Forward with Goats - Participating families "pay it forward" by giving a pregnant goat to another rural family. Recipients can generate twice the average per capita income of $300 by owning a pregnant goat. This program has brought relief to communities. Some have experienced a 75% decrease in malnutrition rates due to the addition of protein to their diet. You can help reduce hunger and poverty with the gift of a pregnant goat.
Protect Rainforests for Indigenous People - Probably no other place is more critical for the survival of humanity than the Amazon. The Amazon Basin harbors the largest remaining tropical forest on our planet and plays a key role in global carbon cycles and climate. Over the last 40 years, one-fifth of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down, and farms, ranches and roads reach further into it each day. The Nature Conservancy is empowering people to implement resource management and development projects to conserve 140 million acres of the Amazon by 2015.
Rescue Girls from Forced Prostitution - The horror of sexual slavery is a reality for many helpless women and children. International Justice Mission (IJM) works to rescue victims of forced prostitution in India and Southeast Asia by gathering evidence of trafficking and sexual exploitation and collaborating with local authorities to bring perpetrators to justice. Victims are placed in aftercare homes where they receive rehabilitation services and begin to restore their lives. IJM investigations have resulted in convictions for traffickers and freedom for more than 1,000 girls and women.
Yaks for Youth - In the Tibetan regions of remote western China, orphaned and destitute children live and learn in rural boarding schools under harsh conditions. High altitude and severe weather make it difficult for schools to receive needed supplies. Poor nutrition makes it hard for students to concentrate and increases absences due to illness. Yaks provide milk, butter, cheese, and yogurt for food, and dung for fuel to heat stoves for warmth and cooking. There are currently more than 1,150 children attending the poorest schools on the program’s waiting list.
These are but five of many gifts available.
There are no internal fees or administrative costs withheld and
100% of the gift is passed on to the chosen charities.
They only add $3 to each order (that could include multiple gifts) 
for operations and funding the credit card fees.
I think every little bit of good
helps to drive out the bad.


  1. Hi Tiffany Rose - wonderful post! Yesterday, I donated to our local food bank and to special olympics. Like you, I think that when we show love to those who need support, we spread love. Tiny ripples that can make a difference!

    1. Hi WMM! I think so too, no matter how small, it can all add up to chip away at the terrible things, and I felt better just doing something positive.

  2. Thanks TIffany Rose, so true. These are terrific gift ideas and your words are very encouraging during this weekend when we are all broken hearted.

    1. Hi Dani. I hope these thoughts and ideas will help us all move forward a little better even as we grieve.

  3. thank you for this post - it is very thoughtful!! xox

  4. I love this post, Tiffany Rose. We gift from the Heifer International catalog. "We can do no great things; only small things with great love."

    1. Hello WFF. I went to check the Heifer International catalog and I will shop from there too for gifts. If enough of us do the little things, it can amount to something great.

  5. What a wonderful post and list - things we can actually do to do good.

    1. Hi Jody, thank you. I felt better doing something good, even if just a little something.

  6. This is really wonderful, thank you for posting your suggestions. I am always on the lookout for new gifts like these and although I'm familiar with most of them, the IJM is new to me so I will have to set something aside for them this year.

    It's so tragic but the reality is that with more sex-selective abortions, particularly prevalent in certain cultures but happening almost everywhere, the pressure on women and girls will only increase and sexual slavery with it. The many men that cannot find wives are a powder keg that has already started to simmer in certain countries. I'm not trying to be political, I'm just saying that the current reality does not bode well for some females in particular. We need to do what we can to stop sexual slavery and to help those affected.

    If you find this comment to be inappropriate or overly political, feel free to delete it, I won't be offended. It's your blog after all.

    1. Hi xoxo. I was aware of the preference for males in certain cultures but I hadn't thought about what happens when the society doesn't maintain a balance. It's a tragedy the brutality some women go through and I think IJM is a worthwhile effort. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments.

  7. Have a wonderful holidays with you and your family - we all need little reminders of how blessed we are.

    1. Lisa, you too! And yes, we need to count our blessings.


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