Published November 25, 2015 by
Have a Happy Heart and Help Others
Many people give to charities all year long. And many want to make an extra-generous contribution around the holidays. There are so many ways you can bless others who might happen to be less fortunate, even if it's just by making a small donation. Here are some places that you can look into when you're considering giving.
Samaritan's Purse/Operation Christmas Child
This organization is now gaining recognition for their Operation Christmas Child shoe box charity. People are asked to fill a regular sized shoe box or plastic bin of the same size with goodies for impoverished children in various countries.
Things to pack in your box include toothpaste and toothbrush, small toys, stuffed animals, socks, or soap. They ask that you not include liquid items that could leak or foods that could spoil.
Along with your generous shoe box, each child will also get a copy of the Christmas message in their own language. There are various collection sites in each state, usually at churches, where you can drop off your shoe boxes.
Workers across the globe distribute the shoe boxes by hand to thousands of children for whom this may be their only holiday gift. You can contact Samaritan's Purse at www.samaritanspurse.org and you can also give a cash donation online. This is an excellent way to see that these children get a holiday gift this winter.
How to Pack a Shoebox
Ending world hunger is the goal of Heifer International. They provide "living loans" to starving families in impoverished areas across the world in the form of cattle, goats and other livestock. You can order from their gift catalog and provide the cost of a cow, chick or other animal to a family overseas.
This not only provides food and nutrition for the family who receives it, but it also helps them make a living selling eggs or milk or other products gleaned from their animal. They can be reached at www.heifer.org. You can find out more about where your gift goes and other ways that you can help.
Images by Heifer International
Be An Elf
There's a way to brighten a family's Christmas this year that puts a smile on everyone's face. An organization called Be An Elf (www.beanelf.org) allows certain post offices across the United States to allow "elves" access to children's letters to Santa that would otherwise go unread.
Image by beanelf.org
You can purchase the things the child asks for and mail these kids Christmas gift baskets to the child to arrive by Christmas day. Often the children ask for basics that others take for granted like shoes and clothes.
You can also make donations by check and mail them to the family. The designated post offices are listed on the Be an Elf web site. It's a wonderful way to spread cheer to those less fortunate.
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Do Your Research
If You Go Elsewhere
No matter which charity you choose to give to, you should research it before you send anything. Are they legitimate? Do they have a number you can reach them at? Have you heard good things about them? Most charities are 100% fully committed to placing your gift in the hands of those who need it most. So, be generous with your excess this Christmas season.
Yours may be the only Christmas basket a family or a child receives this year. It's a heartwarming feeling knowing you took the time out of the crazy business of the American Christmas season to think of someone in another part of the world who isn't as fortunate.