Give LIFE, not junk

Lil' Hat Tree
Originally uploaded by boardhound.
I’ve been out of the Christmas shopping marketing barrage bug that is so common this time of year. It’s like a bad flu that comes through televisions and the nightly news, and wherever else the world can try and convince us we need to buy more stuff or our Christmas will be a disaster.No, the bug in me speaks about how badly the rest of the world needs the money we spend on our “stuff” for Christmas. More and more people seem to share this sense that maybe it would be better this year if we helped the poor, the oppressed, the dying than buy that new ipod, iphone, Wii, or whatsit. SOOOO, below are some places you can send that cash and do something for the greater good. If you visit this page, (as I know many of you who do) then DO NOT just read this and move on to the next blog or RSS Feed. Check these guys out:

Buy/give some coffee, help a people. Here’s how:
”Proceeds from the sales of Café Makarios directly support the Dominican coffee farmers and their community development efforts. Coffee sales also benefit Makarios’ educational programs by providing funds for educational materials and leadership development.”

Love, Light, and Melody
This is so cool:
”is dedicated to battling the physical, emotional, and spiritual affects of extreme poverty found there. Love, Light & Melody is committed to becoming expert on the life and culture inside the dump, identifying and meeting the immediate physical needs, raising awareness about and fighting social injustice, and using music and the arts to rebuild, restore, and bring healing to La Chureca and other communities ravaged by extreme poverty.”

KIVA: Micro-Finance
Might of heard about it on Oprah:
”Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.”

Blood: Water Mission
People die without clean water:
”committed to clean blood and clean water to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic, to build clean wells in Africa, to support medical facilities caring for the sick, to make a lasting impact in the fight against poverty, injustice and oppression in Africa through the linking of needs, talents and continents, of people and resources.” More info Here

These are just a few. They aren’t scams, your money actually goes to the people who need it. There are many others out there that I could fill pages with, but then isn’t that what is so overwhelming in the first place? Where to start?

So, enough excuses and junk. Buy some coffee that helps the poor, give a loan that helps the oppressed, donate that Christmas money towards something that won’t end up in some closet by June, maybe even save a life or two.

Don’t just tilt your head and say, “Aw, isn’t that nice.” Do more than you are doing, cause you know you really want to.