my top 5 Christmas alternative gift-giving suggestions

Maybe a strange way to launch the cultivating daily into your neighbor, but these certainly give you the chance this Christmas to be a neighbor to folks both locally and globally while giving gifts to your neighbor this Christmas. Hopefully, you will see how this obviously cultivates into those who are served through these ministries, as well as how it less obviously cultivates into your actual neighbors as you share about these ministries with them through a really cool gift they will enjoy! Hope it helps get you thinking about getting less stuff and giving more hope this Christmas…

So glad it’s Advent season!!! Looking forward to worshiping and serving and celebrating the news of Emmanuel together with you this December.

Here’s a quick note out in response to some questions Jen and I have had from a good number of you about good local and global alternatives for focusing that Christmas-gift-giving money. So, here are my top five suggestions for 2011:

# 1 _ the Christmas Conspiracy of the Church of West Orange
Bottom line is to get jeans, sneakers, hooded sweatshirts and jackets, socks, underwear, and winter hats for our West Orange County homeless friends and Central Florida foster kids. This effort supports the ministry efforts of Matthew’s Hope and the Florida Association of Foster Parents. You can read about what to get and where to drop it off by CLICKING HERE. Also, if you want to just give cash, you can do so by making a donation directly to Matthew’s Hope.

# 2 _ “Go and Do the Same” 1/2 Marathon Run for Clean Water
Bottom line is that Chad and Cindy Nykamp will be running the Disney 1/2 marathon next month and are enlisting “sponsorship” from all of us for $1300 to go toward providing clean water to those who do not have it through Living Water International. CLICK HERE to give to their effort. You can also click here to learn more about “Go and Do the Same.”

# 3 _ give a gift through Compassion International
Bottom line is that you will be surprised that the money you were gonna spend on that ridiculous fashion ensemble that would just hang in someone’s closet could actually buy a cow or two goats or full vaccination for two kids or clean water for life for two families, and more. Check out how you can give into an organization that I have supported since 1993 by CLICKING HERE.

# 4 _ support international artisans via World Crafts
Bottom line is that a friend of mine directs this really cool organization called World Crafts that partners with international artisans to sell their work and support their families and local economy in viable and sustainable ways. Really cool stuff. Check it out by clicking here.

# 5 _ buy from Project 7 & give to the “least of these”
Bottom line is that Project 7 offers some really good coffee, T’s, mints, and more (stuff you already buy), but they don’t keep the profits. They give it to partnering ministries to feed the hungry, provide clean water, help the sick, encourage the oppressed, and more. I just ordered some stuff from them last week. Check it out by CLICKING HERE.

# 6 _ TOMS
Ok. I said top 5, but I always have to mention TOMS. I am a TOMS junkie, wearing my fifth or sixth pair right now. And i wear one out then get another pair. They now offer sunglasses that in turn provide glasses or much needed eye procedures for those who need it. Check it out by CLICKING HERE.

There you go. Now go and get less stuff and give more hope this Christmas.

Much love! Merry Christmas!!!

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