Greetings! Cindy Jantzi here! This year for Christmas, I encourage you to consider giving a gift that really will make a difference in someones life. We all have so much stuff, wouldn’t it be great if we can give a gift with an impact?

Last year, I received ‘a chicken farm’ which will provide food and income for people in developing countries. The ‘farm’ becomes a family’s livelihood, which starts the cycle of self-support. I felt good that instead of receiving a trinket that I don’t need, someone who is in need received help.

MCC is our Faith-based, Anabaptist organization that provides relief and training to those in need around the world. They offer a range of giving options for gifts. MCC Christmas Giving Guides (Simple Giving) will be in your church mail files at Westheights this week. You can give the gift of food, water, livelihood, education, medical health, etc.

If you want to make something, you can put together a kit. Kits are basic survival packages based on specific needs. They are sent our regularly and when there are disasters. The specific kits are health kit, relief kit, school kit, newborn kit, AIDS caregiver kit, etc. MCC Ontario is based here in Kitchener, and kits can be dropped off at 50 Kent Street. I think this is a great way to involve children in planning and giving to those in need.

I enjoy supporting MCC, based on their principles, but also I know that they have some of the lowest administration expenses, which means most of each dollar (83-85%) is going directly to the program. MCC is one of the most efficient non-profit organizations in Canada. I also enjoy helping this organization by volunteering my time.

MCC initiates relief through the Biblical principle of ‘teaching them to fish’. They ask, what does this country and people need to become self-sufficient? How can we provide resources to assist their unique local needs? An example is the Sand Dams in Africa. MCC helps to build sand dams to provide communities with clean water. I have a friend who visited the MCC Sand Dam Project in Kenya this year. She said they provide a community with water, but they also work with the local tribes to ensure they all have access to the water and build peace among the tribes.

I encourage you to look at your Christmas list and consider giving, on behalf of someone you love, to those who really do need.