Tuesday, December 2, 2014

For God loves a cheerful giver.

"Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me."

This past week has been full of all sorts of special days. Thanksgiving Thursday (who calls it that?) was followed by Black Friday, and then Super Saturday. Sunday didn't have a catchy name, but you might as well call it Sale Sunday because people were still shopping (particularly online) and preparing for Cyber Monday. The past five days or so have been so incredibly focused on money. Consumerism. I have friends who started shopping at dinnertime on Thursday (which makes me a little sad, but ok.) I have friends who shopped for twelve hours. I know people who stayed up late to buy things at certain times from websites offering super deals. People are shopping for gifts, they're shopping for themselves, they're shopping for their kids and their homes. And I can say that there are some good things about this shopping focused weekend. The crazy sales meant I was able to buy a new coat which I really needed since mine had rips and tears, a broken zipper, and was the wrong size (I got it straight out of high school!) My point is, people have dropped a lot of money in the past few days- money on stuff. Good or bad, it's all stuff.

And then someone came up with the idea of Giving Tuesday. I wonder if it's a sort of palate cleanser- what can we do to feel better about the insane amounts of cash that we as a nation have spent this holiday weekend? People like giving to charity around the holidays, anyway. Things like Angel Trees start popping up in our malls and shopping centers, charities start mailing out wish lists (I get them from children's homes, animal shelters, the zoo, and just about everyone else that is charged with taking care of living creatures, human or otherwise.) I think Giving Tuesday is a pretty neat idea, though part of me wishes that it took priority over the "me" centered shopping days. Then again, if we did Giving Tuesday before all that other stuff, people might give less because they'd be afraid of using too much money and not having enough left over for shopping!

So now Giving Tuesday is upon us, and Compassion is doing something really neat. Instead of just a generic push for donations today, as many other ministries and charities are doing, Compassion is concentrating their efforts on fundraising for a brand new Child Survival Program in Gujarat, India. If you followed my trip to Tanzania, you may remember that I visited a Child Survival Program (CSP) in Tanzania. That's the extra program Compassion does for moms and babies- they make sure the  moms enrolled in the program get proper prenatal and postnatal care, job training, advice and support from other mommas, good nutrition....and the babies get their immunizations and check-ups and visits from social workers and playtime with other babies- all these things that are so important to a child's development and that we in the industrialized world totally take for granted. The babies in the CSP are fat. Healthy looking. Average-sized in areas when it's impossible to guess a child's age because they're all smaller than what we're used to seeing. They're healthy and happy. Their moms are making plans for starting businesses with the skills they've learned. Their families are smiling and hopeful. Compassion's CSPs are genius and vital and amazing.

We have a goal today- we want to raise $25,000 this Giving Tuesday to start a brand new CSP in India. India was chosen because those babies need an extraordinary amount of help- statistics show that almost 2 million littles die in India every year- that's over 2,000 a day. Most of them don't make it past their first year. And so, so many of those deaths are preventable. Babies are dying from dehydration, malnourishment, and preventable diseases. Compassion's Child Survival Programs work to knock those out.

Please consider giving to Compassion's campaign today. Let's make this thing happen. You can view the giving page and find more information here.

Looking for more ways to help? Consider tweeting about the campaign, or share about it on your facebook or Instagram. Compassion has some great ideas for sharing here!

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