Every year at this time, retail establishments are touting Black Friday sales at the top of their advertising lungs. Consumers may or may not respond with the expected volume of purchasing, but the whole concept should, by now, be a little stale for anyone over the age of ten.
There’s the fatigue of trying to think of what a loved one or friend would want, need, or really use in the coming year. (Men especially have a difficult time with this. If we want it, we’ll buy it ourselves, for ourselves. If you want to buy me something, let’s go to a pub and drink some Guinness.) There is the frenzy of the shopping mall stampede where, it seems almost annually, someone in America is seriously injured or killed while trying to get the latest model of the latest gadget or toy. Finally, there is the credit card debt that consumers will hoist on their financial backs, simply out of a sense of obligation, rather than a real joy of giving.
Old Money has an alternative, and it warms the hearts of not just the person who gives the gift and the person who receives it. It changes lives.
Heifer International is a 70 year old charity that brings sustainable agriculture and commerce to impoverished people around the world. It doesn’t provide a handout; it provides resources and guidance for people in need to be self-sufficient.
The work they do and the global impact they have, year in and year out, is unmatched in the world of charitable organizations, in my opinion. And the price range of your donation can be as little as ten dollars or as much as five thousand.
My personal experience with making a donation in lieu of giving a material thing to friends has been extraordinary. When people receive an email notice from Heifer that you’ve donated in their name, they’re touched at the thought. Second, when they discover how much good fifty bucks is going to do for people in need–rather than go toward the purchase a sweater that they don’t want or need–they’re delighted. Finally, it offers them an opportunity to hop off the holiday/retail/consumer merry-go-round and give a gift to their loved ones that has meaning.
Most of the people you’ll buy gifts for this holiday season don’t need a damn thing. So why waste your time and money? Make a difference in somebody’s life.
Click on the Heifer International website and see how you can give a gift in honor of someone you love.
Shine a light this Black Friday. Give to Heifer.