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Holiday Giving Guide: Giving Back to Your Community

Dec 9, 2019

Ever since I was a little girl, giving was always a big part of my life—something my parents, thankfully, instilled in me. I truly have been blessed with more than I can ask for and believe in doing my part to help the world around me. 

To me, it’s not about a dollar amount you can give, or a grand gesture, it’s about the heart with which you give and finding an organization you are passionate about!

Holiday_Giving_Guide_Giving_Back_to_Your_Community

Many of these organizations are ones I personally give to regularly, and many were new to me—I have to admit, I cried reading these stories—wow, these organizations are truly making a BIG impact in the world!

One of the best gifts we can give this holiday season is to bless others—this is a gift that will keep on giving, and you never know how one kind charitable action might impact generations to come!

What are some of your favorite organizations? I would love to know, leave a comment below!

*I cannot speak for all of these companies on a personal level and you truly never know just how they are being run, but I do believe the intention and heart to give is most important.

Samaritan’s Purse

Forever my favorite, go-to organization, I have seen Samaritan’s Purse in action in my own backyard many times with the California Wild Fires when some of our dearest friends lost everything. And every Christmas growing up we always filled up a shoe box of gifts for a little boy or girl, I can’t wait to do this with Remington one day! Samaritan’s Purse is always the first ones on the ground and I appreciate they always show financial accountability. I love reading their stories of children who had heart surgery and now are leaders in their countries or hearing about military couples lives that are totally changed through “Operation Heal our Patriots.”

They have an amazing gift catalog—we just did this as a family and although Remington is too young to understand, we loved starting this tradition with her. 

International Justice Mission

IJM is on a mission to rescue, fight and end modern day slavery and what they are doing around the world is incredible. I have followed their stories of impact for years and just love this organization! They not only work to rescue and free those entrapped in slavery, but they partner with local law enforcement and have a team of lawyers to actually change the business model of slavery and end it. Sadly there are 40+ million slaves today, 1 in 4 victims are children, and IJM believes that “Every slave is a person with a name, a story and a dream. Together, we can send rescue and set them free.”

Their Stories of Rescue will open your eyes to a reality that many people face today.

Together We Rise

They help make a meaningful impact for children in foster care to transform the experience for thousands of kids! Most children in foster care are given a trash bag for their belongings when they move and Together We Rise provides new duffle bags with all the essential hygiene items and even teddy bears for younger children. They build bicycles for children and teenagers of all ages, help with college tuition and even sponsor days at Disney world. This organization really touched my heart at the difference they are making for our youth. I can’t even begin to imagine the joy that a bike or birthday box can make in a child’s life!

Love Does

Founded by Bob Goff who wrote one of my favorite books Love Does, this organization provides education to children in conflict zones like Somalia, Afghanistan, Uganda, Nepal as well as safe houses for young girls. Their work in Somalia, especially their new baby home, is truly life changing for young people in this war torn country. Many babies in Somalia are being abandoned because young mothers have no means to care for them. You can sponsor a child’s education to provide holistic care both in an out of the classroom. Funds go to towards new books, healthy foods, diapers, dormitories and staff salaries.

The Her Initiative

This is an off set of Healing Waters International that specifically provides access to clean water and health & hygiene curriculum to women in the developing world. Often, in the developing world, women feel a lack of dignity, not just about feminine hygiene but because of the mistreatment they frequently face.They began implementing a women-specific health & hygiene program called ‘Clothed In Strength and Dignity’ to encourage women to care for themselves and their families all while teaching women that they are worthy and valued just for who they are. 

Wags and Walks

We can’t forget our sweet pets right?! I love that Wags and Walks works to find the right dog and temperament for your specific family’s needs and lifestyle to ensure successful adoptions and long term solutions. They have chapters in LA and Nashville but I would encourage you to look for a local animal shelter in your specific area!

They even have a ‘Paws and Pajamas’ program for children to read and play with the dogs! How precious is this?!

One Acre Fund

This organization caught my eye because I love what they are doing to actually change the situation with a long term, holistic approach. One Acre Fund works with small farmers across Eastern and Southern Africa to create financially secure and sustainable farming models so families can make a profit and have food to eat. They teach and empower farmers on every aspect of the supply chain including financing, distribution, agricultural training and the market to make a profit.

I appreciate how they break down their impact in such a transparent way!

Tim Tebow Foundation

They exist to bring faith, hope and love to children needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need—specifically children with medical conditions, orphans and those with disabilities. ‘Night to Shine’ gave those with special needs an unforgettable prom night and last year impacted more than 100,000 guests in 24 countries! These stories from adoption to granting wishes to very sick children is truly incredible!

Feed the Children

They believe that no child should go to bed hungry and are committed to not only getting nutritious food, educational essentials and vitamins into children’s hands but also educating and empowering families so that together we can break the cycle of poverty and hunger. I love that this organization knows that food is a means to providing so much more—love, hope, dreams and education!

Know that whatever you can give makes a difference, not just today but for a lifetime!

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Photos by kylie martin

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