I won’t be spending $100 at the health food store to buy raw cacao and cocoa butter to make this delicious homemade chocolate. Nor will I drop cash on pretty packaging and organic ingredients for tasty vegan cookies.
It’s not because I don’t think you deserve the best, because you do. You deserve the best gluten-free/GMO-free/Paleo/vegan homemade treats I could possibly create. But not this year.
No, it’s not because I don’t believe in holiday treats, because I do. I love treats — I love eating treats and I love making treats to give to others. It’s my one of my most favourite holiday traditions.
But not this year.
Recent world events have left me feeling sadness, desperation and disgust at the state of humanity right now; feelings I’m sure a lot of you share. But at the same time, I feel grateful, hopeful and optimistic about our future. While evil exists, so to does love and light. And the best way to fight darkness is with light.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’ve been finding it hard lately to sit here in my cozy bed with my flannel sheets, adorned in $100 exercise apparel while writing blog posts for fun on my $1,000 Mac Book, eating my 85% dark organic chocolate bar while my $100 essential oil diffuser fills my room with a lovely lavender scent and not feel terrible about how privileged I am while families are being bombed in their homes in Syria, children are starving on the streets in India, students are being gunned down at school in Africa, and women are being beaten in both developed and developing countries. I don’t take my life for granted, and feel grateful every day for being born and raised on this beautiful island in the Pacific in North America. I donate to various causes when I can, but have felt lately like I could be doing a lot more.
So that’s why I spent the money I would have spent on Christmas baking ingredients and small gifts for family and friends this year on a donation to Raw Hope instead, and signed up to sponsor a two-year-old girl in India on behalf of my family and friends. I’m in a position now where I can contribute a bit more to charity, and while there are so many worthy causes out there deserving of funds and sponsorship near and far, I felt like I wanted (and needed) to do something to support some of the most vulnerable populations. I wanted to shine some light where there is only darkness.
Raw Hope works in unstable countries whose governments cannot or will not act to protect the rights of its people, such as in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. Because Raw Hope works in the most dangerous places where it is extremely difficult and inefficient to establish child sponsorship programs, you can’t sponsor a family or child there; but you can make a one-time or monthly donation to support the efforts of Raw Hope, which responds to urgent need, providing aid and security for children in volatile areas.
I know donating to charity in lieu of giving gifts at Christmas is not a revelatory thing, but it’s something. And sometimes a whole bunch of small somethings can lead to one big something. Imagine if we all spent the money we planned to spend on small gifts, baking ingredients, decorations, wrapping paper and packaging on a donation to those in need?
If you’re feeling the same way and want to donate as well, here are a few other reputable charitable organizations with donation or gifts-on-behalf-of-loved-ones programs:
- World Vision Gift Guide
- Oxfam Syrian Refugee Crisis Support
- Oxfam Unwrapped
- GiveWell.org top charities list
Have you ever given donations of money or time instead of gifts for Christmas? Which organization(s) do you donate to? What do you usually love to bake during the holidays?
Thanks Amanda for the link-up!