This is Day 17 of the 30 Days of Giving: Making Christmas Meaningful campaign, which is designed to bring the Believe.com community creative and practical ways to cheerfully give this holiday season through gifts, relationships and charity. Come visit the 30 Days of Giving Advent Calendar each day in our countdown to Christmas for intriguing and original ways to help you to experience and spread the spirit of joyful giving that God intended throughout the holiday season.
As you work on your Christmas list this year, consider adding one more gift — the gift of life: clean water.
Consider this: If a jumbo jet full of passengers crashed and there were no survivors, we would certainly consider it a tragedy. It would make world-news headlines. And, what if not just one, but six jumbo jets crashed? Unimaginable as that may seem, that scenario represents the number of children who die every day of the year because they lack something we take for granted – access to clean water and sanitation.
According to Water.org, well over two times the population of the United States, about 780 million people, live without access to clean water.. As a result of lacking water and sanitary conditions, 3.4 million people die – unnecessarily – each and every year.
What can one person do, you wonder? How can one person make a difference that amounts to more than a mere "drop in the bucket?"
One family or individual's gift – a gift that will fit any budget – can do plenty, as it turns out, including:
Bring clean drinking water and sanitary conditions to a child in one of the many third world countries served by World Vision. For as little as $20 a month, your family can help save lives lost to drinking contaminated water. Just $25 can help a child attend school because the well you help support means that she no longer has to work several hours a day toting water to help her family. Your one-time gift of $100 means a child now has the chance to grow to adulthood because his family can now feed him from crops they are able to grow, thanks to the irrigation system you helped to fund.
Sponsor a child through an organization such as Compassion International or Christian Relief Fund. This is a very tangible way to give a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year, for as little as $25 dollars a month. Help provide clean water, sanitary living conditions, food, education and Bible learning. Your family will receive a photo and information about the child you sponsor, and you can write and receive letters from her.
For the amount you would typically spend on one Christmas gift, make a donation to an organization like The Last Well, whose mission is to provide drinking water to an entire nation (Liberia), and preach the word of Jesus Christ to everyone they serve along the way.
Donate to an organization that teaches communities in third world countries to develop and sustain a clean water supply, like the faith-based organization, Clean Water For Haiti.
Help Water Missions International, a non-profit Christian engineering organization that strives to provide safe water and sanitation to developing countries and regions struggling to recover from natural disasters, like floods and hurricanes.
For whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ’s, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward. —Mark 9:41