My family, perhaps like yours, has an annual holiday tradition.
Every year, no matter where we are, we make the same Christmas breakfast. We prepare our special crepes, the recipe handwritten on a stained decades-old 3×6 card. As a family, we have moved often and even relocated abroad for a time. Change is a constant for us, but so are those pancakes. My daughter, now 28, grew up on them; I figure she downed hundreds over the years before leaving her now empty-nester parents. Last year, COVID kept us miles apart in Toronto and New York during the holidays. But even quarantine couldn’t stop us; we cooked together over Zoom, laughing and flipping crepes made from that same special recipe.
Children everywhere love traditions (parents, too), and traditions make memories. Celebrating Giving Tuesday (November 29) is a tradition in our family, too. It marks the largest global movement of generosity and signals the start of the holiday season. This year, while writing up your family’s wish list, consider including some unique ‘gifts for good’ that will make a lasting difference for vulnerable children worldwide—and create a new tradition for your own.
Each year, Children Believe, a charity that annually supports more than 1.2 million children, youth and community members to overcome poverty and injustice releases its Gifts for Good catalogue. It features gifts that can help break the barriers to education that millions of children, particularly girls, endure in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay, countries where Children Believe serves.
All 54 gifts featured in the Gifts for Good catalogue will support children and their families to overcome the challenges they face, not only during the holiday season, but all year long. Here are three of my favourite picks that I hope might make your family’s list this holiday season, too.
1) Goats – the Gift Of All Time?
Being the GOAT – the “Greatest Of All Time” – may be an accolade given to sports stars, but we think real goats are the “Gift Of All Time”. Why? Goats prove their worth daily as a source for milk, fertilizer and income for vulnerable families in developing countries. Parents can use those funds for their children’s school fees and supplies. The gift of a goat or two ($100/each, $250/flock) can help sustain a family for a year – and the gifts make great stocking stuffers.
2) Send a girl to school for a year
Today, more than 100 million girls worldwide are out of school. Girls with no education are three times more likely to marry before age 18 than those who attended secondary school or higher. A scholarship ($100) that sends a girl to school for a year is a life-changing gift. What’s more, the value of this gift will be multiplied by our giving partners for 5X the impact.
3) School meals
As parents, we know children can’t learn on an empty stomach. For some children in developing countries, a school meal is their only daily meal. You can help provide nutritious meals ($50) so children can concentrate better and improve their chances of staying, and succeeding, in school. Gifts for Good school meals might make a unique teacher’s gift — and spark some thoughtful discussions with your children around the dinner table, too.
Fred Witteveen, CEO, Children Believe
Fred is a veteran humanitarian leader dedicated to creating lasting change for vulnerable children worldwide. For over 60 years, Children Believe has worked globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in, and be heard. It is driven by a common belief: creating access to education – inside and outside of the classroom – is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.
To learn more about the Children Believe Gifts for Good catalogue, visit: childrenbelieve.ca/giftsforgood