As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.
― Mary Anne Radmacher
I love the holiday season, especially the ritual of giving. Presents sometimes get a bad rap for encouraging unnecessary materialism, but I think it’s all in how we look at them: there are as many ways to give gifts as there are humans on the planet!
Giving from the heart
Consider the act of a simple, yet heartfelt hug — perhaps one of the most profound gifts that allows us the simultaneous pleasure of giving and receiving. As with most things in life, it all comes down to the intention: I’ve experienced hugs where I couldn’t wait to wriggle myself away from the other person, and hugs where I happily soaked up the mutual love with gratitude.
Or, what about cooking a lovely breakfast for someone, or writing a heartfelt letter? Just a few simple lines that say how we actually feel will be enough to leave a lasting memory in another person’s heart. In our ephemeral, online world, tangible gifts grounded in genuine, emotional truths seem to be few and far between. On the positive side, this only serves to make their impact that much greater when we do dig deep to give.
Creating an abundant mindset
There’s also always the option of giving money, material goods, or time to a worthwhile cause. If we’ve never before felt the immense reward that comes with donating to a worthy cause, this idea can be easy to ignore. Often, we only seem to have enough time and energy to consider giving gifts to people in our immediate vicinity, like family and friends. Or, we might be feeling particularly financially tight (I know this feeling well!), not wanting to spend more than absolutely necessary.
To this end, I often think about what Marie Forleo says on the subject of abundance. She wisely suggests that we are in full control of our money mindset: even if we’re thousands of dollars in debt, it is possible to still cultivate an abundant outlook — which will, in turn, manifest into reality! She also notes that the best way to create personal financial abundance is to start by giving some of our own money away. While this might seem counter-intuitive, it actually works.
Worthwhile charities to support, around the world
During this latter part of December, we’ll be featuring some fantastic charities that are worthy candidates with whom to share our abundance over the holiday season — and perhaps even manifest some financial abundance of our own in the process! I’m proud to say with certainty that any donations of money or time will go directly to helping those in need, as I’ve personally researched and reached out to all of these inspirational organizations.
Even as little as $10 from our own pocket can positively affect someone living in another part of the world. At the end of the day, giving is about creating positive connections with our fellow human beings, both near and far.
Org4Peace: helping underprivileged families in rural Nepal
Today, we’ll focus on Org4Peace, “a Canadian non profit that supports underprivileged families in rural Nepal.” Co-founder Scott Morgan explains that Org4Peace provides “educational sponsorship for children and raises funds to support children’s homes and schools.” Scott took time out of his busy schedule in Canada to answer some of our questions about this change-making charity, what inspired him to get involved, and how we can help!
K: Can you tell us about what Org4Peace does?
SM: Our main project is the “School on the Mountain,” or Gaurishankar English School. There are over 330 children attending the school, of which 150 are sponsored through our 1+1 program. When you sponsor one child, you actually sponsor two. The first child, who is already at the school attending for free, receives school supplies and pays their school fees. The second child, who is usually on a waiting list, is than admitted into the school. We do this so that more children can go to school earlier, since it is much more difficult to teach a child who has missed many years of primary schooling.
Org4Peace also raises funds for special projects. We have provided new classrooms, a small computer lab, a play room, additional toilets, and clean water. We have also provided volunteers, educational materials, computers, school supplies, clothing, and medicine. We provide support based on the needs of the school.
K: What inspired you to become involved in an NGO in rural Nepal?
SM: My friend Joanna started the organization on a volunteer trip to Nepal. She called me in Thailand, where I was living at the time, and told me I was the co-founder of a new organization in Nepal! I was so excited. She knew she didn’t even have to ask. We had talked about it for years, and both of us had been involved with development work as volunteers. We are both very aware of our privilege and believe it’s our obligation to help others.
We run Org4Peace in our spare time, as we both have full time jobs. It can get pretty hectic, but the good part is that we don’t pay anyone — we rely on word of mouth instead of paid advertising. We have only virtual offices to keep our admin and overhead costs very low.
K: How can people help?
SM: This holiday season, sponsor a child’s education or give a sponsorship as a gift to someone you care about. You can also select one of our gift options or donate any amount to help children and families in Nepal. Giving the gift of a goat, a yard full of chickens, or a child’s winter jacket can make a real difference in a rural child’s life.
Like Mike del Ponte and Soma’s admirable work with charity:water, Scott has chosen to use his energy, talents, and privileged place in life to help others. Chances are, if we have enough spare money to invest in some additional pieces for our wardrobe, or to think about purchasing a new tablet, we can likely also find as little as $10 or $20 to give to a charity. While we might not think that an amount this size can do much, rest assured — it will.
Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.
– Eckhart Tolle