I describe myself as a social justice wannabe. Basically, that means that I have awakened to God’s mandate for justice, and I’m trying to live that out in my daily, walking-around life. I’m not very good at it, but I’m learning. I’m also aware that our helping can often hurt, so I look for organizations that hold that tension well and have proven themselves faithful. These are a few people with whom I practice social justice.
Heartline Ministries is based in Port au Prince, Haiti. Formerly an orphanage and international adoption facilitater, Heartline now boasts a family centered vision to keep families in Haiti together. In addition to a woman’s program with sewing, beading, and cooking classes, they also run an incredible maternity centre with fully trained midwives, pre and post-natal education classes, vitamins, and lactation consultancy. I love Heartline’s deep respect and honour for Haitians. Few things capture my heart like mothers being empowered to give birth to their babies, nurse them, and raise them. In talking with one of their midwives, Tara (who is now a dear friend), I learned that out of 300 women who have been delivered at their maternity centre, only one has chosen to relinquish her child for adoption. Only one. Women want to raise their babies, and I love that Heartline is making sure they can do so if they choose. There are a lot of ways to support Heartline from straight-up donations to fund their programs to buying a purse like I did from Haitian Creations, their shop to volunteering on site.
Mercy Ministries of Canada
Mercy Ministries of Canada is a non-profit residential home for young women, ages 19-28, from diverse socio-economic situations, struggling with life-controlling issues such as drug & alcohol abuse, physical & sexual abuse, human trafficking, eating disorders, self-harm, depression, and unplanned pregnancy. I volunteer and advocate for Mercy Ministries of Canada now, but I worked there for a few years, too, and was part of the inaugural staff. You can read my posts about Mercy here. My personal favourite: I believe in miracles.
Help One Now – Haiti
Help One Now is a collective group of churches, businesses, communities and individuals from around the world. These people are dedicated to using their gifts, talents and resources to help end extreme poverty, care for orphans, rescue slaves and see communities transformed by serving our international partners through Help One Now. They sponsor kids, host garage sales, donate funds, take trips, advocate on their behalf, and much more. I traveled to Haiti with this organization, and it has changed my life. You can read about it here, but my favourite posts from that trip are In which God doesn’t look the same anymore and In which I came too close to God.
As a result, we participated as a community in the Legacy Project. We raised $100,000 to fund a community school. The ground breaking happened on the third anniversary of the earthquake.
Case de Luz Children’s Home – Mexico
Casa de Luz Children’s Home in Mexico was birthed out of our local church context in partnership with a local church in Mexico. Our tinies personally sponsor and raise money with their Sunday school for one little boy there. You can check out our Annie’s Art Show for Mexico.
This is a revolutionary way to do some good.
Before I even start, would you do me a favour?
Would you watch that video just above these words? (RSS or email subscribers, you may need to click through to watch.) There, now. See? AMAZING.
You can make a real, tangible difference for real people. And you can do it by turning your consumption into generosity.
Instead of a holiday season of blind and mindless consumerism, we will use our daily spending to subvert consumerism.
Yes, we’ll use our spending to be generous.
You know how I love a good subversion of the empire….
And here’s how:
As (the wonderful, beloved) Mary DeMuth says, “This could revolutionize the way we think about our money. It’s a winsome way to capitalize on capitalism, by leveraging what we already do and spend to bring more giving funds to those in need.”
If you’d like to change the world with your spending-giving, here’s how to start:
- Sign up for a Pure Charity account. If you’re on Facebook, you can sign in through that, or create an account the old fashioned way.
- Install the browser plugin. This will make it so a Pure Charity icon will pop up when you’re browsing particular stores online (like Target, Gap, Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, Priceline, even Groupon). If you purchase via the pop-up, a percentage of your purchase will feed into your charitable giving account. (You spend $, then make $, then give $).
- Register your main credit card with Pure Charity. This is the no brainer part of the process. Every time you use your credit or debit card at one of their participating merchants, you again receive a percentage of your purchase into your giving account.
- Then browse the projects (there are many) that you could potentially fund. To start funding, add your own funds to the account (via bank or debit/credit card). (In fact…I have just the project in mind….)
- Support your favorite project. (You can change the amount you support…it starts with $5 increments…by clicking the dollar amount and changing it.) These are time specific projects with a set amount of $. If that project doesn’t fund by the finish date, Pure Charity refunds the money back into your giving account.
- Share it with friends! There’s a strong social connection to this, where you can share buttons and widgets with your friends and followers, to generate interest in a cause you’re passionate about.