✪ buildOn – buildOn builds schools both here and abroad. They work closely with local ministries of education to build schools that last and offer vital skills to children that need them. It is their belief that education is a basic human right.
✪ Heifer International – The church I worked for split the plate one month with this organization. Heifer seeks to end poverty and world hunger through sustainable agriculture. Your gift of a goat or a cow can have a lasting impact on a family in need.
✪ The Herren Project – I’ve had friends that have battled addiction in various forms. “It’s very easy to judge people who are in programs that accept charity, easy to say that they’re weak or stupid for putting themselves there. What I found out about Chris Herren is exactly what I found out about myself: we are both addicts, and we made some very bad decisions in life because of our addictions. The addiction was not chosen, however. Chris didn’t consciously discard his dreams, he was doing what his body and mind were telling him to do by taking pills. The mind of an addict is not easily explained to someone that has not been addicted, and their actions will always seem irrational to everyone on the outside, but not to us. ‘Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.’ Learning to not react with inebriation is incredibly difficult, and it’s very easy to slip down into that slope in to addict mode without noticing. Addiction never cares who you are, you’re just an addict. And now you’re the one that needs serious help.” People in these situations need outreach and support. Redemption is possible, especially through the work of caring individuals.
✪ Trinity Place Shelter – “For many, the holidays are about family. However, the harsh reality is, our beloved shelter residents were often kicked out of their homes and thrusted into the streets BY THEIR FAMILY, because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or both. So, for our residents, the holidays can trigger their trauma, rejection and be a time of particularly deep marginalization and loneliness.” With the help of donations and community support, Trinity offers a shelter for some of the most vulnerable teens. Family is love and through a network of dedicated individuals Trinity extends that love to its residents.
✪ The White Helmets – Last year I remember hearing a story about a woman that was helping Syrian refugees by organizing a donation program of baby carriers. The belief was that women fleeing their war torn home could have their hands free as they made their way out. This notion stuck with me in a situation I could not even begin to imagine. There are people, feet on the ground, helping others. These stories of war don’t need to leave us powerless. Together we have more power than we know.