It is almost here!
Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is here! This year, the average family in the United States will spend $1,007 on holiday shopping and more than $300 during Thanksgiving week alone. Last year, American shoppers spent 5 billion dollars during the 24 hours of Black Friday, sometimes leaving Thanksgiving dinner early to be the first in line for deals at stores and shopping malls. This year's early projections predict that shoppers spent even more on Black Friday this year, and will follow with another 7 billion dollars online for Cyber Monday. But in the midst of all this frenzy, on November 27th, something remarkable will happen...Giving Tuesday!
What is Giving Tuesday?Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that flies in the face of these statistics, challenging people to inaugurate the Christmas season by prioritizing the causes they believe in. People around the world will take up the charge, advocating for and giving to nonprofit organizations that touch the lives of those in need. In Luke 12, Jesus reminded His followers that the true location of our hearts is revealed by how we use our physical resources. "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide yourselves with purses that will not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Putting Our Money Where our Heart Is
This Giving Tuesday, we at CHM are putting our money where our heart is...with our wonderful Haitian staff and their families. While the CHM children are the most recognizable part of our mission, there is so very much more to what we do! Yes, monthly sponsorships and general donations send kids to school and put food on the table, but they also provide jobs for more than 90 local workers. In a country where nearly 80% of the population cannot find a formal job, this is something precious and rare.
The children's home provides jobs for nannies and cooks, security guards and tutors. Pastors work for our churches and teachers instruct in our schools. And every single job ripples outward with power, putting food on the tables of real families, providing clothing and shelter, enabling employees to care for extended family members, offering pride, purpose, and dignity. When you give to CHM you are ministering through employment to the hundreds of children and family members of our staff that depend on these jobs for survival.
This year, all across Haiti, things have been particularly difficult. Many of our staff members have lost loved ones to accident or illness. The economy has struggled and prices have risen. Our Te Nwa school teachers and staff lost two precious students to diphtheria this year. Our nannies comforted children through earthquake tremors, awakening old fears of what may come. Volatility and political unrest have shaken Haiti and violent protests have strangled schedules and endangered lives. Even as I write this, fear has gripped much of the country. Most schools and businesses remain closed, food prices are rising, and streets are quiet. These are difficult days.
Because of this, we have decided that this Giving Tuesday will be set aside as a special day to bless our Haitian employees. We will be raising money to provide them with an end of the year bonus - a bonus that will not only relieve burdens, but that will encourage hearts and remind them that they are still seen in tough times. They are not alone.
We have set a goal of $10,800 for this Giving Tuesday...enough to touch the lives of every single employee and have made a special giving link dedicated to this cause. This link will go live on Facebook at 12:01 AM on Tuesday. We will also send it out to our email list throughout the day.
While we are very excited about your giving, there are others way you can help, as well:
1. PRAY Over the next two days, many will decide their Giving Tuesday strategy. Will they participate? Will they ignore it? Did they exhaust their finances over the holiday weekend and not have enough left to share? Please, pray with us that hearts will be open, that our communications will be effective, and that donors will plan and be intentional in their giving. Please, also join us in praying for our Haitian staff. Pray for their needs to be met. Pray for their physical health and protection. Pray for their children and families and for their hearts to be rooted in Christ. We know that God cares about every detail of their lives and is intimately acquainted with all their ways (Psalm 139).
2. SHARE Please, share this blog and our Giving Tuesday link with family and friends. Talk to your churches, talk to your coworkers, talk at your dinner tables. Share your Haiti stories and how your connection to Haiti has changed you. You are our greatest advocates because you have seen and heard, hugged and loved on the very people we are seeking to serve. You can make them 'real' to those around you. If you are on Facebook, be sure to like and follow our page. You can find it by clicking here. Like, share, and comment every time you see a post. This helps boost the post's reach so others can see it, too. Come back to the Facebook page often and check for new posts. We will be sharing directly from some of our staff members and we can't wait for everyone to know more about these courageous and dear friends! Be sure to respond to our Facebook Giving Tuesday Event. You can do so by clicking here. The more who respond, the greater the excitement will be! On Giving Tuesday we will post updates on our progress in real time on the event page. You won't want to miss it! Share your own giving story online and why you believe in CHM and be sure to tag us when you do. You can be a mighty advocate for our amazing staff through your social media! It really makes a difference.
Over the years, so many of you have told us that Haiti "has your heart." We believe it and you show your active love to our children and to us in so many different ways. This Giving Tuesday, we want to share that heart with the precious staff who live and work on the front lines. Will you join us?
With Love and Thankfulness,
Mike, Bonnie, and the CHM Team