Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Alternative Christmas Gifting: Pay It Forward

This morning a friend and I were discussing different alternatives to Christmas giftings. This year my SIL and I agreed that it was time to do something different and more meaningful. So instead of giving individual gifts to all the members of the family, we are going to give donations to worthy causes in their honor. Not one of us needs any more stuff, thanks be to God!

My friend told me that last year she and her husband gave each of their now- adult children money--but with a string attached. The money had to be given away to benefit others! At Thanksgiving dinner each family member reported where the money went and what it did.

One of their daughters gave her money to KIVA for micro-loans to help small business owners in the third world. As the loan was paid off, she was thrilled to be able to "reinvest" the principal and interest in loans to more people.

Another daughter and her husband used the money to recruit runners for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in honor of his mother, a breast cancer survivor. More money was raised for the cause as a result of their efforts.

Her son used the money as seed money to organize a fund-raiser for a friend whose wife (a young mother of 4) was paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a freak accident. At the end of that fund-raiser, $30K was raised for the family.

My friend called it "Paying It Forward". I particularly loved the idea that everyone shared the results at Thanksgiving dinner the following year--what a celebration they had! I'm going to see what SIL thinks about Paying It Forward next year.


Presbyterian Gal said...

This is great stuff. What a lovely family.

Rev Dave said...

This is great. I tried to encourage my congregation to do Christmas different this year, may I steal this post for a followup?

Rev Kim said...

This is great. I'm going to be talking about alternative giving on Sunday. May I borrow this?

Quotidian Grace said...

Kim and Dave you are welcome to borrow the post. Anyone else interested is also welcome to it!

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

WOW! That is so very cool!