In light of the recent super storms that have caused tragedies across many countries, including the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, now is the time to think about “Gifts of Hope”. As we look ahead to the Thanksgiving and holiday season, with so many people around the world in need, isn’t it time to consider a different approach to gift giving?
There’s a reason why consumerism is on the decline in many households. Why? Because people just like you are realizing that most Americans already have so much, while there are so many people out there who have so little. Don’t you find that most of the usual holiday gifts are disposable and void of much value or usefulness? Aren’t you tired of giving gifts that aren’t really wanted or needed? Couldn’t your hard earned money be put to much better use?
Our friends at the University of Fondwa in Haiti know firsthand the deadly and long-reaching effects of a powerful storm that sweeps away homes, crops, and the hope for a secure future. Luckily, the uFondwa was able to escape most of the destruction of Hurricane Irma. The north side of the island was hit the hardest, but farmers of Fondwa were able to save most of their crops.
The residents of Fondwa feel fortunate to have escaped the devastation of these recent hurricanes. It hasn’t even been a full year since the powerful Category 4 winds and floods of Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti, affecting more than 2.1 million people.* Matthew not only swept away crops and livestock that farmers depended on for their livelihood, but also their homes.
“These are a resilient people, but these are people who were already living at the deepest levels of poverty.” former Haiti Senator Francky Exius said after Hurricane Matthew last October.*
Resilience is part of Haiti’s national character, but sometimes resilience isn’t enough by itself.
Defining Gifts of Hope
A Gift of Hope is a generous charitable donation made on behalf of your gift recipient. Instead of giving a physical, commercial gift, you make a donation to an important cause, such as uFondwa, in your gift recipient’s name.
When you choose to give a Gift of Hope, you’re saying “no” to commercialism. You’re saying “no” to the latest gadget, the in-demand toy, or the trendiest fashion accessory that the recipient of your gift probably doesn’t really need.
Instead, you’re choosing to make a difference in the world. You’re choosing to “do good” and make an impact where it will really be appreciated.
Gifts of Hope aren’t just symbolic of good will. They’re real, life-changing gifts that can change an entire nation like Haiti for the better.
Why Gifts of Hope are Needed in Haiti
While many generous people find the compassion to donate immediately following a natural disaster like Hurricane Matthew, donations are needed for many years after the initial disaster. After the emergency subsides, the long-reaching effects really sink in, and that’s when life-changing and economy-stimulating programs like those at uFondwa make a tremendous impact.
Haiti is a country that has not been able to build a stable economy and has always struggled to produce enough food for its people. The education that uFondwa is providing is instilling young leaders with the drive and skills to become agents of change right where they’re already living and working. This is having a powerful effect on the future of the country.
The real crisis in Haiti is not earthquakes and hurricanes, it is POVERTY. And the way out of poverty is EDUCATION.
Should you choose to make the magnanimous decision to donate to uFondwa, you can do so with the knowledge that you’ll be helping provide much needed education to young potential leaders in Haiti who are hungry for the opportunities uFondwa provides. uFondwa’s programs are unique in that their integrated approach requires students to use the knowledge and skills they’ve learned in the classroom in practical applications. uFondwa offers three unique programs:
- The Agronomy Program: Students learn the science behind producing food and gain an understanding of the environmental impacts of agriculture.
- The Veterinary Medicines Program: Students become specialists in the health management of livestock.
- The Business Management Program: Students study and apply their knowledge to work towards creating income-generating solutions.
Every cent from every dollar that you donate in the form of a “Gift of Hope” helps students in uFondwa’s three unique programs; Agronomy, Veterinary Medicine, and Business Management.
Gifts of Hope Don’t Need to Break the Bank
You don’t need to have thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket to donate a Gift of Hope to uFondwa. Gifts of Hope come in all shapes and sizes and even a donation as small as $20 can help provide the much needed education Haiti’s people need to live.
It could be as simple as donating what you might spend on your daily morning coffee. Imagine what you would be able to donate if you set aside just $3 a day for one month. That’s almost $100 that would go right to the people of Haiti and the education that they need to sustain their homes, families, and futures.
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
Take a good look at your own and your family’s possessions this year. What if instead of buying things you don’t need, you saved your money and invested in Gifts of Hope instead? If you have kids, consider the important values you could help teach them with your donation.
In today’s society where consumerism is promoted in every advertisement and on every billboard, it’s easy to fall into the habit of buying “stuff” just for the sake of shopping and consuming. However, it’s possible to break that cycle and to do something meaningful… and it doesn’t even have to be difficult. Join the Gifts of Hope movement. You’ll feel gratified knowing that your donations will be used well, used responsibly, and will make the world of difference to people who really need the support.