My birthday is fast approaching (Feb 4) and I’ve already been questioned about what I want for my birthday. My reply was the same as it is for most things birthday or Christmas related, “I don’t want anything.” For the most part I get what I want, if I can afford it and it is a priority to me. So there isn’t much that I really need in the way of “stuff”. I had this idea last year, but I wasn’t quick enough to respond. So this year I would like to supply a list of alternate birthday gifts that anyone can get for me in lieu of “stuff”.
The Gift of Charity
Instead of giving me things that I don’t need or may not like or may like but could really do without, I would like to request that anyone wanting to buy me something for my birthday donate to a charitable cause. Here is a list of charities (mostly Christian based) that allow you to give the gift of donations.
The Voice of the Martyrs – this organization (persecution.com) does not necessarily have any “gift of donation” or “gift card” options, but it is a very noteworthy cause. They are an inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. Did you know that it is illegal to possess a Bible in many countries? Did you know many Christians worldwide must worship God, pray and read the Bible in secrecy? Did you know that Christians are killed for their faith today!? Consider giving to this cause to be the “hands and feet” of Christ and assist these brothers and sisters around the globe.
MustHaveGifts.org is a Christian organization in the UK that provides charity gifts by supplying real world needs to people in need all over the world. Some examples are Mosquito Nets to prevent Malaria, Scholarships to help educate children in Cambodia or vaccinations for people in Somalia. Don’t you think that these people could use your dollars instead of me?
Present Aid (presentaid.org) is another organization like MustHaveGifts that provides real world needs. Some examples of gifts they provide are a goat for a family, help pay a community doctor’s salary or meals for malnourished children.
TisBest Philanthropy is another provider of “gift cards” for charity. They are not specifically Christian but have “faith based” charities that you can donate to.
Send A Cow is a Christian charity that helps families and communities in Africa by providing education in farming and livestock care and providing essentials for growing crops and even livestock.
JustGive.org – this website has a pretty extensive list of charities that you can donate to. They are not specifically Christian, but they have Christian organizations listed. They provide gift cards and allow you to pick from several designs and either send an E-Card or print a card to send. They also have a Charity Wedding Registry which is a pretty cool idea.
No, I don’t personally maintain, administer or benefit from the following charities but they are close to my heart.
Aarons Hands – This is actually a very good friend of mine that I’ve known since high school. She had aspirations early on of becoming a doctor, which I’m confident she could have been, but God had something different in store for her. Now she is a part of the Thrive Africa ministry who’s goal is to disciple believers, equip leaders and strengthen the Church in South Africa. She doesn’t have any “gift” type options but I’d be very appreciative of any donations you made to her ministry.
Laura Holmes – This is another dear friend of ours who ministers in Africa, in the country of Lesotho. I don’t have a website for her but you could contact Grace Community Church for instructions on donating to her ministry, which would also be greatly appreciated.
Well, I guess that’s a good enough birthday list for this year! The point is… give towards a great cause, not just to fatten my pockets or add stuff to my already swelling office. Not only that, but you can take these ideas and extend them to giving for your own family and friends.
NOTE: Some of the above charities are in the UK and the amounts listed on their sites are in GBP (British Pounds), so make sure you do the conversion to know exactly how much you are giving.