On DP Life we practice the idea that each one of us can contribute to the peaceful world God intended for us. Like pieces in an intricate puzzle, we each play a part in creating a beautiful and peaceful world by our conscious efforts.
It’s not easy to change the world alone, so I’ve listed some organizations that are making a unique difference in the lives of others and our environment. In the spirit of the season, some of these are Christmas organizations that encourage the holiday heart of giving. My challenge to you is to 1) look around you right now and consider if you’re feeling blessed, be it with a cozy home, a warm meal or a loving family, and 2) if the answer is yes, pass it on by choosing one of these causes that most inspires you (or finding your own) and supporting it through a small donation or some volunteer time.
KIOO Project—named for the Swahili word for “mirror”—teaches photography to children from communities with limited creative resources. Through photography, children can develop self-confidence and self-assurance. Populations that KIOO Project has invested in include child slaves in the Haitian town of Gressier and children in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Through just a few snaps of pictures, the viewpoints of children could truly transform. One child felt a reassuring realization after experiencing photography: “I used to think I was not beautiful enough, like the other girls, but now I realized that I’m beautiful in my own way. I saw the other side of myself, how beauty is inside me.”
This humanitarian organization allows compassionate individuals to share God’s love with children around the world. Individuals, families, churches and groups fill a shoebox with a “wow” item—like a doll or soccer ball—and other fun toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and notes of encouragement. There is also a follow-up program called “The Greatest Journey,” implemented through a global church network, which teaches children about Jesus.
Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) is a nonprofit organization that rescues North Korean refugees hiding in China and resettles them in South Korea or the United States, in order to keep them from being repatriated back to North Korea, where they would face harsh punishment for emigrating illegally. Over 400 refugees are now safe because of these rescues. LiNK also focuses on empowerment programs, research, and the spreading of awareness of North Korean human rights issues. Father Moon always dreamed of the reunification of North and South Korea. LiNK invests in the ambitions, potential and strength of the North Korean people in order to bring about change in North Korea.
TOMS sells shoes, eyewear, bags, and even coffee while practicing altruism. Through a policy called “one for one” the organization helps a person with every product purchased. With each pair of shoes purchased, a pair of shoes will go to a child in need. Each eyewear purchase provides restored sight for a person in need. Each bag purchase provides a safe birth for a mother and baby in need. Lastly, buying coffee provides safe water for those who don’t have access.
Let’s get centered! Give Back Yoga Foundation is a national nonprofit that aims to bring yoga and mindfulness to underserved and under-resourced segments of the community. It provides a variety of yoga programs, including one for prison inmates to help them solve problems without violence and another for first-responders to help them cope with the stress of their jobs. Other yoga programs cater to specific audiences including at-risk youth, veterans, and people struggling with body-image issues and eating disorders. The foundation also offers training for those who want to become yoga teachers to help others who can benefit most. Donations to Give Back Yoga Foundation pay for tools and resources, including yoga mats, training sessions, certification scholarships, and more.
There are many, many more wonderful organizations out there. Leave us a comment to add to this list!