Tis’ the season to do good, show love and give back. Raising our kids to live with a spirit of generosity and kindness is top of the parenting priority charts for us. During the holidays especially, we really try to highlight that it’s not what we have but what we do with what we have that matters most. It’s a virtue my own parents demonstrated to me. Whether they had a little or a lot, they had big, wide-open hearts and always found ways to be of service to others in need. Living with a spirit of compassion & generosity is a value I want to instill in our own gang.
So, in the spirit of the holidays, we are busy not just making wish lists, but also thinking of ways to be a light to others in the festive weeks ahead. The true meaning of the season can get overshadowed in our modern world, but really the holidays are about togetherness, gratitude and love. We know our children are shaped largely by how they see us behave and interact with the world. We want them to see us spreading some love. And while kindness & generosity don’t always have to cost anything, we’ll be selecting gifts for the mentors, teachers & special people in our lives anyway, and purposeful gifting will guide where we allocate our dollars.
Knowing families in underdeveloped regions of the world struggle to meet the basic necessities of life while we enjoy all the bounty of the season here is pretty heart-wrenching and perspective setting. We have lots of chats with the kids about some of the privileges we have that can get taken for granted often time, and openly share some of the hardships kids their age face around the world in age-appropriate ways. This allows us to openly acknowledge that there really is a lot to be grateful for.
Just like in previous years, one of the ways we’ll be spreading some light this holiday season is by selecting gifts from World Vision Canada’s gift catalogue. It’s an age-appropriate way to get the kids involved in giving back, and an educational way to discuss the needs faced around the world. Every year since I can remember, my own Mom made gift selections from this guide and it just made beautiful sense that if we’re buying gifts for others this season anyway, why not include gifts that have a ripple effect of good to others. #LoveCanGive is a beautiful initiative we’re proud to be a part of.
There are over 50 ways to share joy all year long from the catalogue for any occasion, but here are some of the gifts we love to give and why we select them:
Livestock Combo – Goats, Hens & Roosters
Not only does gifting livestock help feed struggling families (milk, eggs, etc.), it also provides a lasting livelihood as in addition to providing locally sourced animals, WVC provides families with business guidance and skills to help them generate income & ignite sustainable, lasting change.
Food & Agriculture Gifts
So much of the holidays surround the scrumptious eats and savoury foods we get to indulge in. It’s pretty hard to swallow, then, thinking so many go without a basic food supply all year long. Giving the gift of agriculture packs & food that include seeds, nutrition-packed supplements, animal feed, tools & training help communities create an abundant harvest to nourish their people. Not only that, these gift selections are part of a collection that multiplies in value thanks to extended donations from the Government of Canada & the World Food Programme (these by 4 & 5 Xs!).
Every child deserves to reach their full potential, which includes access to education & resources that support their learning. This privilege we sometimes take for granted is so far-reaching for so many worldwide. We love gifting one of WVC’s education gifts (such as the education fund, textbooks & classroom supplies) as part of our teacher & mentor gifts in honour of the good work they do, and to ignite positive change to kids who deserve the right to learn.
Play is such a fundamental part of childhood, so providing something as simple as sports equipment (balls, nets & more) that can produce countless hours of fun for kids facing hardships, that feels pretty good and why our kids made sure we added this one to our list.
Other ways to gift from the catalogue:
- Hold a fundraiser with your sports team, pool resources and give a group gift from the heart. You could help a community break the cycle of poverty with a gift like “Fill a Stable” which provides a community with a stable full of livestock to help make a long-term impact or give a well to thwart sickness & deaths from unsanitary water. Access to clean water can change everything for the better in these communities.
- Give the gift of choice! Inspire others to show some love by sending them a World of Change Giving Card. You choose the card/denomination & they get to choose the gift. It can be sent by mail or electronically.
- New this year is the Artisan Gifts collection, including fair trade, hand-crafted jewelry, textiles & housewares created by artisans from around the world. When you purchase these gifts, you not only provide artisans with a fair wage, a portion of your payment also goes to WVC initiatives that tackle the greatest needs. We adore the “LOVE” necklace & to support this beautiful #LoveCanGive gifting we’re giving one away in our 2019 Holiday GIVE Guide – ENTER HERE.
Getting more involved in projects and partnerships that make an impact on the lives of others was on our family vision board again this year, so being ambassadors for World Vision Canada helped us meet one of our goals. The real joy and reward, however, is seeing how helping others uplifts them and makes them want to do more of it – witnessing the joy of giving…yeah, that’s a parenting pay-off.
*Disclosure: Partnering with a world-changing organization we already supported outside a partnership is a true honour for our family. Sharing our good deeds to the public isn’t the driver behind this post. We believe good deeds & kindness don’t need a spotlight – they should come from the heart. But we wanted to highlight a simple, meaningful way to incorporate purposeful gifting that can transform lives into your holiday spending that our family genuinely engaged in before this partnership. Earnings from this post will be designated toward our favourite giveback gifts for the special people in our lives we want to appreciate this season.
We wish you all a season filled with peace, love & all things beautiful + bright!
What meaningful ways does your family give back during the holidays or throughout the year?
Love & light,
The Kerr Family