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Alternative Giving for Christmas

December 5, 2011

Thinking about Christmas gifts recently, I turned my thoughts towards the alternative giving variety. I thought I might share some organizations that would be great alternative giving gifts for people in your lives. Most of us don’t need anything, so why not give to a group doing something wonderful in the world rather than giving what I like to call “filler gifts”. Those are gifts you buy when you can’t find the perfect gift or a person doesn’t have anything they want or need.

First up, Imagine No Malaria.

On Christmas Day 2006, I was on a plane to South Africa to a young adult convocation to spread the word about Nothing But Nets. The United Methodist Church was a co-founder of this incredible program to prevent deaths from malaria. As representatives from the UMC traveled to Africa to hand out nets, they recognized a need for a more holistic approach. Imagine No Malaria was born. INM still supports Nothing But Nets, but has expanded its scope to include prevention, education, infrastructure and communications.

So What?

Imagine No Malaria is in a unique position to use 160 years of experience in Africa to work against malaria. INM is not a “parachute” ministry where nets or info are just dropped into a community where leaders there have to figure it out. INM trains African leaders so they can make a difference in their community. This isn’t about “giving them fish”, but giving them the tools to make a difference.

Now What?

The great thing about Imagine No Malaria is that all of the money goes to the cause. If you have a heart for Africa and don’t believe that a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. in the 1950’s should be killing people, this is a great organization to support.

In 2006, I gave out the stats that malaria was killing 1 child under the age of 5 every 30 seconds. Today, 1 child dies every 45 seconds. We are making progress in the fight against malaria.

This Christmas, give the gift of life to a child. In 45 seconds, you can make a difference.

Text: MALARIA To: 27722 to give $10.

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito. – African Proverb

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