Gifts of Hope - Salvation Army Canada

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  • Nov21Thu

    Gifts of Hope

    New items available in ethical giving catalogue. November 21, 2019 by Lt-Colonel Brenda Murray
    Filed Under:
    Feature, World Missions
    A young girl washes her hands in Bangladesh.
    A young girl washes her hands in Bangladesh.
    (Above) Clean water is just one of the items funded through donations made to The Salvation Army Gifts of Hope ethical giving program (Photo: Mark Yan)

    Click here for The Salvation Army's Gifts of Hope ethical giving catalogue.

    A boy sits on the side of his bed, excited to show us where he sleeps under a mosquito net. Orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi receive chickens, pigs or goats that provide both nutrition and a source of income to help with school fees. A family stays healthy with medication from a clinic in Kenya. A Liberian farmer receives tools and seeds to help support her family post-Ebola. A child is rushed to hospital on a bush ambulance, saving his life. A borehole (well) provides a rural community in Sri Lanka with clean, safe water.

    What do all of these things have in common? They are gifts of hope, and they are funded through donations made to The Salvation Army Gifts of Hope ethical giving program, which started in 2008 and continues to grow to support our international community development projects. Seventeen carefully chosen items provide practical support to individuals, families and communities, helping break the cycle of poverty. Gone are the days of shipping—these items are bought in local markets, which not only helps individuals and communities, but also supports the local economy. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

    Get Creative

    The great thing is that you can be creative. Instead of receiving presents for a birthday, why not ask friends to make a donation and purchase an item in your name? Wouldn’t it be great to know that because of your birthday, others are now enjoying the gift of a goat? Or a restful night under a mosquito net?

    What about your child’s community sports team? What better way to engage the team than by asking them to contribute to sports and recreation items for other children. This instills social responsibility and the importance of thinking of others at a young age. It doesn’t take much to make a difference, as the gift items start as low as $15.

    Or what about a work party? A car dealership in Toronto raised enough funds to pay for 126 goats. Think of the impact this had on a community in Malawi when they received the goats. And when a goat has kids, one is passed on to someone else in the community, so the project sustains multiple families.

    There are also several gift enclosure card options to choose from, including birthday, anniversary, in memoriam, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, thank you and teacher recognition cards.

    New Gift Options

    Photo of young boy showing his mosquito netYour gift can provide a restful night under a mosquito net (Photo: Joel Johnson)
    This year, we have added some new items to our catalogue (see page 31 of this issue of Salvationist, or visit saworldmissions.ca). As Christians, it is our responsibility to look after all that God has given us, including creation. We need to consider ways to lessen our footprint on our environment. Our international partners also recognize the importance of environmental sustainability, and where possible, have identified and included various environmentally friendly solutions, such as solar power and eco-cookers, in their projects.

    Did you know that The Salvation Army funded a project for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by providing solar-powered LED lights? Together, we helped bring light to this community, reducing the risk of crime and violence that often lurks in dark spaces. With the new option of solar-powered lights in our Gifts of Hope catalogue, we hope to bring light to more communities. It is a gift with significant impact.

    What about the opportunity to provide ministry resources such as Bibles, Sunday school materials, instruments and worship music, so the gospel can be shared? Recently, we received a donation from a retired officer toward Bibles for the training college in Malawi, as the cadets were working out of different translations within the classroom. Now, due to this generous donation, the cadets will share together from one study Bible translation. It was because of this donation that we have added ministry resources to our gift items, so others can also benefit in this practical way.

    This year, be creative, have fun and give a gift of hope that will make a world of difference in the lives of vulnerable individuals, families and communities.

    Lt-Colonel Brenda Murray is the director of world missions.

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