I’m always curious how other families celebrate holidays. It wasn’t until I was in my early 30s, pre-kids, when I rented a farm for the summer that I started to celebrate Thanksgiving. Even though I don’t like cooking, I would invite my friends over for a big meal where we would laugh, share stories, and eat way too much.
Fast forward a decade and that Thanksgiving is still celebrated at my house. We’re very low-key, celebrating with a small group of family and occasionally, friends. I do my best at making a big meal—nothing grand because I still don’t like to cook—and reconnect with my loved ones. It’s also a time to reflect on what we’re thankful for in our lives. At some point during the day I always ask my two kids, Josh and Jessie, what they are thankful for. Sometimes their answers make me laugh, other times they make me think.
But this year I’m going to make them think.
I have been a supporter of World Vision ever since I went on a life-changing trip with them to Malawi five years ago.
This year, World Vision has added a new way to donate through their new and unique World Vision Spark program. This new program gives you the freedom to read about and choose who and what you will donate. You simply visit www.sparkchange.ca, read about different families, discover what they need, and then donate money to help them bring their idea to life. For as little as $20.00, your donation will spark a difference in their life.
I spent over an hour on their Spark website reading about families like Hasmik and her two children who would like a washroom in their house. Hasmik says, "We don't have a toilet and washroom and don't feel like human beings." Or the Dayawan community in the Philippines who are working together to build a business that makes a coffee substitute from corn so they can support their families. A simple labeling machine can make this happen.
That’s how I’m going to make my children think this Thanksgiving. Instead of asking Josh and Jessie what they are thankful for, we are going to sit in front of the computer and read the stories of families and communities in Armenia, Georgia, Niger, and the Philippines. Then I’m going to have each of them choose one to make a donation.
What makes this even more impactful is that from now until October 27th, YMC will match every dollar donated by YMC members through World Vision’s Spark website, up to $1,000.00 CDN.
So when I ask how you’re celebrating your Thanksgiving this year, what I’m really hoping is that you will join me in making a difference in the lives of families who could truly use your help. Sit with your kids, read the stories, and have them choose who they will donate to. Use it to not only spark a difference in lives around the world, but to spark conversation and teach your kids about giving back.
This year celebrate Thanksgiving by having another family thankful you were able to help.