Give the gift of giving! Teaching Our Kids the True Meaning of the Holiday Season – Plan Canada


Have you had that conversation with your children about the true meaning of the holiday season?  Not the one about keeping gift receipts, but that this time of year is really about giving to others – especially to those in the greatest need?

We have.

All year round, we set aside some unopened gifts to take to the fire station for delivery to the less fortunate and we always make sure extra clothing, blankets and jackets are put to good use in the community.

Plan Canada is a global movement for change, mobilizing millions of people around the world to support social justice for children in developing countries.Plan Canada logo

Founded in 1937, they are one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, they have only one agenda: to improve the lives of children.  They give children, families and communities the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty and build sustainable solutions for improving their own lives.

Plan is also the organization behind Because I am a Girl, a global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty.

In 2012, there work impacted the lives of over 174 million people – including 83.9 million children – in over 90,100 communities around the world.

If you are putting together gift ideas this season for children, consider a gift from Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope. A Gift of Hope from Plan Canada can be an excellent way to engage children at a young age. It presents a unique opportunity for them to learn, talk about and support important global issues.

With a number of new gifts available this year, including Typhoon Haiyan relief, Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope provide access to food, education, safe pregnancies or a family income.

Below are a few of Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope

New! Typhoon Haiyan relief: $95

Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the worst storm on record, destroyed entire communities and shattered millions of lives when it struck the Philippines. The storm swept away homes, schools, crops … and lives. But with this gift, you can help children and families recover and rebuild. Plan has worked in the Philippines for more than 50 years and has extensive experience responding to natural disasters and other crises, deploying teams of technical experts to support the immediate delivery of clean drinking water, food, medical supplies, shelter and educational resources.

New! The Quinoa Project: $35

This superfood is a super gift for almost 15,000 families in developing countries, where poor nutrition and health run rampant. This gift of a family garden includes everything necessary for growing that garden: quinoa seeds and other grain crops; training for growing and harvesting the crops; and the know-how to turn those crops into nutritious meals with cooking classes and recipe books. With this gift, you can help families become healthy and strong for life.

Gift-giving idea: If you have a gardening enthusiast in your life, this gift can be wrapped with packages of heirloom seeds for next year’s gardening season.

Mango Tree

New! Fruit Tree: $12 each or 10 for $120

When you give this gift, your efforts will bear fruit in many forms. Planted around homes, fruit trees provide shade from the unrelenting sun and give families nutritious food to eat, helping them stay strong and healthy. Help families in more developing countries reap the harvest of this gift.

Gift-giving idea: A perfect gift to give with jars of delicious homemade fruit preserves.

New! Girls’ take-home rations: $25

Give the gift of food and the gift of education! Many girls in developing countries are often kept at home and out of school because of existing gender roles and stereotypes. With this gift, each month that a young girl regularly attends school, she will receive essential food items such as cooking oil or grains to take home to her family. Feed families, feed young minds, and be part of changing communities, one educated girl at a time.

Gift-giving idea: For a daughter, niece or granddaughter, this gift given along with a contribution to an education fund (RESP) emphasizes the importance of an education.

New! Food Basket: $50

Filled with staples like sugar, peas, beans, and cooking oil, it’s a basic food basket with an impact that is anything but. This gift of food for thousands of pregnant women, mothers and young children under five who are malnourished is ultimately the gift of life, especially in countries like Sierra Leone, where maternal and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world. Along with the food, nutritional training is given as well to help them stay healthy and strong. Basket by basket, you’ll be saving lives.

Gift-giving idea: Perfect for home cooks and foodies, give this life-saving gift with a basket of gourmet food items.

New! School Essentials: $17 for one child, $250 for a class

Fill schools in developing countries with all the essentials to give students the best possible education and the best possible start to a better life. With this gift, you’ll not only be helping provide basics such as textbooks and pencils, you’ll be funding essential school lunch programs and teacher training. This gift will also help children receive education in emergency situations, support programs to reduce school violence and work on improving school hygiene. All of which will help make schools into productive, safe, inspiring spaces where children can get the education they need to make their own choices about the future.

Gift-giving idea: A perfect gift for teachers, can be given with a gift certificate from their favourite book store or coffee shop.

Goat: $75 or $775 for a herd of goats

It just might be the most unique gift you’ll give this year. Goats may make us chuckle with their antics, but the impact they have on a family’s health and income is profound. They provide milk and essential protein for growing children, and the sale of offspring means an income to pay for housing, health, food and schooling. We’re m-a-a-a-d about this gift!

Gift-giving idea: A great way to teach children about charity and the developing world, give this gift with a small stuffed goat. Or for an adult, goat’s milk bath products pair well with the spirit of this gift.

This year, give back with Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope, which can easily be purchased over the phone at 1-800-387-1418 or online at plancanada.ca/gifts. Recipients will receive an electronic or hard copy greeting card letting them know about their personal gift and a tax receipt is issued to the giver.

Visit plancanada.ca/gifts for more gift ideas and to learn more, or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PlanCanada.

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