We can all recognize that our society has built up enormous spending traditions around Christmas. Many of us buy more than our budgets can handle, and the constant barrage of advertising fools many of us into believing that this is how Christ’s birth should be celebrated.
This Christmas, consider a small change.
Instead of following the patterns of our culture, we want to encourage each other to take a small step in a different direction. Gift-giving and generosity are certainly Christlike, but we want to provide an opportunity to be generous to people in our world who have extreme needs. For most of us it’s not realistic to completely ditch Christmas presents for loved ones. But we CAN make a small change and begin a different kind of tradition.
We’re asking you to sacrifice some of the money you’d normally spend on gifts. Instead, offer that money towards a four-week campaign that we’ve launched called Water for Haiti.
This means we actually have two goals: spend less on your family and friends (who probably don’t need much anyway!) and instead, give a gift that will provide water to families in great need.
We feel called to respond to the water crisis in Haiti.
Only 30% of Haitians have safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. This has led to the current outbreak of cholera, which is predicted to result in over 200,000 cases. But even before this latest crisis, Haitians – especially children – frequently die from malnutrition because of parasites and bacteria in their water that prevent nutrients from getting into their bodies.
We know we can’t solve the water crisis for the entire country, but we can make an impact and help the people God has connected us with. We plan to do just that through Water for Haiti.
Our goal is to raise $21,000 during the four weeks before Christmas and give the money to our partner ministries in Haiti. If we reach our goal, we’ll be able to provide funds to dig a well and establish clean water distribution in the village of Lougou. We’ll also be able to provide clean water for thousands of families in Cite Soleil for four months.
Even if it’s a small amount, please consider joining us. We can’t create new Christmas traditions overnight, but this year we can all take a small step together!
Update: A few people have asked for an easy way to let friends or family members know that a donation has been made in their name. Other folks asked for an easy way to let people know that they’d appreciate a donation to Water for Haiti instead of a gift. We’ve created a certificate that will help with that.