The Gift Of Giving | Charity: Water |

Tuesday, December 3, 2013






It's that time of year for my favorite series here on TPN, which I only started last year but I am really excited to keep going, The Gift Of Giving. Having worked in social services for years and taken copious amounts of ethics and sociology classes there are so many things I think about in the world that need attention. So during the holidays, while I am spending money anyway on presents and hot chocolates, I like to forgo one or two of these extravagances and put a little towards a charity or two. Pointing to charities certainly doesn't mean I am well off by any means, heck I am not even financially stable most of the time, or that I assume that anyone else has any "extra," so with that I try to point to charities that don't have a large minimum donation and the work seems to truly and directly help those in need, (or another favorite is where you can buy a gift and part of the money goes to a charity, win-win). And while I love giving my children presents and shopping and all that goodness, it's also a time where I become acutely aware of all that we have and that even in my times of most need I have never truly gone without. Having worked for non-profits I know that a lot of their yearly (non-funded) budgets come from donations during the holidays, and while anytime is a good time to give, I feel like this my favorite time of year to do so (and i know that every dollar adds up, even if it's just pocket change and sometimes that is all i give if it's all i have). So I love giving a little bit somewhere outside of my own circle where I know it has the possibility to make a difference.

Without further ado, my first featured charity of the season is Charity: Water a non-profit that helps to bring clean drinking water to those most in need. It's hard for me, and probably you too, to imagine a life where water is not at our constant disposal. When we are thirsty we can go to our tap and fill a big glass, a pot, or even a bathtub. Where we mindlessly let water spill down the drain while we do dishes or toss it out because our once straight-from-the-refrigerator ice cold water has reached room temperature. Unfortunately this isn't the case for everyone everywhere and it's not even close to reality for too many.

I remember when I was in college and I was taking all those sociology classes, we watched a documentary about women and children from all over the globe who had to walk miles everyday to get water that no one I knew would even dream of drinking. And this was their life - gathering water, hoping their children would not get sick from it, that they wouldn't be harassed on the way there or back home, or that the water wouldn't be dried up when they got there.  Entire days spent just on this one task that is completely necessary for survival. Those images have stuck with me and now in the morning I finish my glass of water from the night before before I pour myself a new one. I don't buy bottled water unless I seriously need to (it's pretty rare I need to buy water), I do big loads of laundry and I try really hard to not waste water unnecessarily (though doing the dishes is my downfall for water conservation). But really these things simply help conserve water, they don't help those in most need have access to water. This charity is a favorite because I know this is how I can help with that.  For more info check out their website it's filled with information and beautiful stories and photos.

Images via Charity: Water

12 comments:

  1. What a meaningful post. And much needed not just this time of year but all year round.

    Allie of ALLIE NYC
    allienyc.com

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  2. Yes, yes, YES! Thank you, Christine. What a beautiful post and an amazing organization. After years of meaningless gifts (from both sides, I'm sure) I broached the idea with my SIL this year that we give a joint charitable gift this year. Seriously, I have enough crap, I'd rather just GIVE. We'd been thinking Red Cross because of Philippine relief, but I'll take a long look at your posts this week.

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    1. that's so great! sometimes i'll do a bigger donation through heiffer international and give that as little stocking stuffers - they give you cards that say you donated in "so and so's" honor which is nice. i'll keep em coming and you let me know what you decide! xo

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  3. I remember your series from last year and it's wonderful to see it back. A beautiful post, Christine! Thank you for pointing this organization out. This is the time of year when I feel the need to give the most, but it's not always simple to find a charity that resonates with you.

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    1. thank you so much. that's why i do this, when i worked in non-profits i would always know about organizations so it made it really easy. but since i have been out of that field i have to dig around a little more and research - because also working in non-profit i know sometimes your money/donations doesn't always go exactly where you think. so i try to find organizations that seem really, really good and showcase them for people who want to donate but don't know where to do so. i agree, it's important to find a place that resonates with you. xo

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  4. you are such an incredibly giving person christine. you really are so inspiring with these posts with how selfless you are. i think this year, i want to put "become selfless" on my new years resolution and get more involved with organizations like these. so please, keep them coming :)

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    1. whoa, you are too generous in all that. i am not that selfless, if anything maybe it alleviates my guilt for high-tailing it out of the social service world and what i thought was my "calling." it was for awhile i suppose but it was too wearing on me after awhile. and really, it doesn't take a lot for any of us to do something like this. i really think people feel like to donate they have to donate 50 or 100 or 1000 dollars and you don't. you can donate $5.00 and that's like one coffee, or maybe half of a martini around here ;) xoxo

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  5. A wonderful initiative, Christine, thank you for teaching us to be better! This year I've had a second job for a non-profit foundation and the things and dedication that I saw there shook my entire world. Our tiniest gesture makes a huge impact for those in need.

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    1. it's so true. working for non-profits is a big job. you never really leave it behind when you go home and the work is never done. and, yes, even the tiniest things to us can make a huge impact for others. xo

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  6. A great post Christine. It's kind of mind-boggling the things we take for granted/don't even think twice about here in the U.S. This time of year is always such a good time for reflection on how fortunate we are and all of the things we can do to help those who are not. Happy giving season!

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  7. I've been thinking about doing something similarly. instead of gift guides, why not point the way to some charities? it's hard to find places you can trust, though. living in a poorer part of the world at the moment, and Malaysia is not really a poor country, I see the need to support (I prefer that over the word 'help') all the time and everywhere.

    a great post. I hope you share more of the charities you think are worth supporting xoxo

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