GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday is all about putting giving first.
When we give with a full heart we can change the world.
How will you participate in #GivingTuesday?

#givingtuesday, charities to give to, best charities, places to give, giving tuesday, what is giving tuesdayWhile avoiding all crazy lines, (we turned right around if there was anything ridiculous), I did my share of weekend gift shopping. My favorite moment was when Ali and I were leaving a store, both of us with bags in our hands. With a big grin, she turned to me and said, “I love this feeling. These are gifts I bought with my own money.” Giving in itself gives the giver a boost of happiness. Of course, that’s not why we give, but it’s a wonderful side effect.

On this #GivingTuesday, here are a few of my favorite organizations:

The Children’s Center for Hope and Wellness

In October, three beautiful girls and a pastor from Uganda moved into our home for a week and into our hearts for a lifetime.

Just like every other host family and all the people who see these kids perform across New England as a part of Destiny Africa Children’s Choir, these kids touch people to their core. Their needs in Uganda are great. While the choir was here touring, back home, a young girl died from a preventable illness. Martine would still be alive today with proper medical care and her story brings a greater urgency to the need to build The Hope Centre.

Destiny Africa, The Children's Centre for Hope and Wellness, KCC, Uganda home for orphans, giving tuesday, medical center in ugandaLast night, I hosted a group of women who are joining together in a huge fundraising effort to build a much needed medical center for the orphans who live at the Kampala Children’s Centre, for the over 300 local children who attend school there and for people in the community at large.

Help us build The Children’s Centre for Hope and Wellness and make an incredible impact. They can start building with just $20,000 and for only $70,000, it will be built and functioning – what Destiny Africa, Kampala Children's Center, hosting a family from Ugandawould that take in the U.S.? This project is dear to my heart and we are determined to make this happen!

Please consider giving to save precious lives. The website for the Children’s Centre for Hope and Wellness will be up in a week or so, in the meantime, you can contribute by PayPal at the Kampala Children’s Center, mark your donation for the medical center. Every single dollar matters. THANK YOU!

 Clean Birth.Org

CleanBirth.org is an organization that speaks to me, both in my work as a doula and birth educator and because of my affection for Southeast Asia.

CleanBirth.org “works to prevent the needless deaths of mothers and babies in Laos, where maternal and infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world. In the villages where we work, women give birth alone in the clean birth logo, cleanbirth.org, cleanbirth kits, birth in laos, forest. To make birth safer, together with Our Village Association (OVA), a Lao non-profit, CleanBirth.org” does the following:

1. Provides Clean Birth Kits

2. Trains nurses to distribute Clean Birth Kits

3. Trains nurses to train CleanBirth Village Volunteers

4. Funds CleanBirth Village Volunteer Trainings

A donation of only $5 saves two lives – $50 saves twenty lives! Donate to CleanBirth.org here.

Camp Southern Ground

Camp Southern Ground describes #GivingTuesday as “a day meant to remind us all that giving means much more than the exchange of presents; it means setting aside at least one day a year to support the worthy causes that mean the most to us.”

Camp Southern Ground, Zac Brown's camp, non profit camps, I’ve become a country music convert in the last decade, I love the stories they tell and how many speak of gratitude and living in the present. Zac Brown Band is my tippy top favorite among country groups. I love him for his music and now for his vision of Camp Southern Ground. [Read here about my special one to one time with Ali which we kicked off with a Zac Brown Band concert.]

Camp Southern Ground’s mission is “to operate a camp to allow children to overcome academic, social and emotional difficulties so they may reach their full potential by providing them with the opportunity and tools necessary to achieve excellence in all facets of their lives.”

We all know kids, even our own, who struggle in school or who just need that extra boost of confidence to find their way. Camp Southern Ground will provide kids with typical and special needs, ages 7-17, with a positive, enriching camping experience allowing them to feel success.

“The camp will be a place for children of diverse abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, races and religions to come together to learn life skills and encourage personal growth in a positive, healthy and organic environment. Our programs will build confidence through activities designed to allow children to overcome obstacles and grow in their capabilities, while incorporating advanced programs of superior nutrition and physical exercise.” Donate to Camp Southern Ground.

 KOTO – Know One Teach One

koto hanoi, hanoi restaurant, paper lanterns, white paper lanterns, globe lightsKOTO stands for Know One Teach One. It was founded by Jimmy Pham in 2000 to train Vietnamese street kids in English, hospitality and life skills giving them valuable experience to find jobs and improve their lives. The two-year program is free for the trainees to attend.

A quote from Jimmy Pham on the KOTO menu reads: “I knew the youths needed skills and jobs to earn a living to have a better life and from this KOTO was born.”

Creating a pathway for self-sufficiency and personal growth is a gift to koto new logo, koto restaurant, KOTO Vietnam, KOTO training, Jimmy Pham,these kids. The KOTO model builds pride, confidence and allows these kids to see value in themselves.

If you’d like to support this program, you can sponsor a trainee, buy a brick or donate to KOTO here.

Make #GivingTuesday more important than Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Wherever you send your resources, feel good about your gift, it’s likely to be one of the best presents you give all season.

© Copyright 2013 Leah DeCesare

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