Yes, you can make a difference

A NEW holiday tradition

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Used to be that Black Friday was all about shopping in big stores, Small Business Saturday was all about shopping in small stores, and Cyber Monday was all about shopping online.  This year, like millions of other North Americans, we finished all our Christmas shopping online last Friday – including items for refugees in our own neighborhood.

Today, you get a chance to make a real difference without even leaving your couch.

When we were in Greece, we discovered that charitable donations from the US – from nonprofits, churches, and individuals – were the largest source of support for non-government refugee agencies.  US money makes international charity possible.

Today is international “Giving Tuesday”.
This is a chance for the world economy to focus on charitable giving in real and tangible ways.  If helping refugees is on your Christmas Wish List, or one of your upcoming New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve got links here to help.

  • You can feed a refugee family  (in a camp) for a month for only $200. You can get a nice gift card or ornament to share with someone as an alternative present.
  • Samaritas – the  largest refugee resettlement agency in Michigan – is looking for 1,000 people to each donate $25 by Dec 25, so they can hire a caseworker to support 25 refugee families in Michigan next year.  .
  • Your donations to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services – the largest Refugee organization in the US – are matched through Dec 31.  This organization consistently advocates in Washington DC on behalf of immigrants and refugees.
  • $25 can fund an appointment for an immigrant to meet with a lawyer at a Church in the United States.  Check out Justice for our Neighbors (national org here).
  • Refugees in my town are hoping for gently used or new appliances and furniture.

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If you’re not ready to make a financial donation today, remember that #givingtuesday isn’t just about Money.  You can also give your voice, your prayers, and your time.  Speaking up for the least among us – with our neighbors, to our government representatives, and during our church prayers – makes a significant difference in the world.

No matter how you choose to celebrate #givingtuesday, blessings on your chance to make a difference!

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