Several years ago, a friend asked me for a favor. He and his family, his parents, and his siblings’ families had decided they were going to cut way back on what they normally spent on Christmas gifts which, they well-knew, would be mostly forgotten by January. Their hope was to give fewer gifts, yet more personal and meaningful. The money they saved from foregoing over-the-top purchases would then be given to a good cause. They just needed someone outside the family to hold the funds so that the families’ contributions could be kept anonymous. He asked if I would be that person and added that our family was welcome to participate as well.
My wife, Maggie, and I proposed it to our children, and after some encouraging discussion, our family decided to join in the experiment and have a different kind of holiday that year.
After all the money was collected from the five families, we decided to send it to a mutual friend in Mozambique, Africa, who was teaching local families sustainable skills and more productive agricultural methods. One serious local health issue was the lack of sufficient clean water. Most families made daily treks to a nearby river, pots on heads, to haul water to their homes. He said the money we saved on “stuff” would be enough to dig a much-needed community water well. We were pleased to know that our small “sacrifice” was going to provide life-giving water.
Sometime later we were all a bit curious. We wondered, just how many people had been helped? Our hope was that our combined gifts might have helped up to a dozen families. “Oh no,” our friend clarified, “that well is giving clean, healthy water to almost 2,000 people!”
This is the perfect time of year to think about how and where you and your family can make a difference. Maybe you will choose to cut back. Give. Volunteer. There are many worthy causes out there, and there are some mighty good ones right here in Weld County.
If we can assist you or your family with year-end charitable giving, we would enjoy hearing from you.