Remember those middle school days when we felt obligated to get all of our friends Christmas presents? I would buy nearly a dozen body soaps from Bath and Body Works and 2 dozen candles, and would come home after a day of passing out gifts in school owning a dozen body soaps and 2 dozen candles. Let's face it, it is hard to shop for friends during the Holiday season, especially those Secret Santa gifts. Woof. Well I solved the problem for good last year and I have decided to carry it into this holiday season as well.
Today my girlfriends will receive their gifts in their campus mail boxes. What they really will recieve is a cardstock tear drop with a simple statistic on the front "Every 22 seconds a child dies from lack of clean water." The cardstock is wrapped up with a glittered blue ribbon and a letter attached to the back of it. The letter reads....
"To a friend,
To reveal to you the purpose of this Christmas letter I unfortunately have to bring up the subject of crying. Tears are a natural part of life, they come when our heart is hurting, when we let go of someone we love, when we laugh so hard that we cry. We look at tears and we think they are normal, we never really marvel at their presence in the corners of our eyelids or rolling over the arches of our cheeks. For a moment imagine what it would be like to be moved to tears at this very moment but amidst the sniffles and sobs, nothing comes out. No tear drops.
It seems almost silly, something we never really give much thought to, but for 1.9 million children in the developing world it is a sad reality. Because of the lack of clean water and the inefficient forms of technology to filter this water, children in these countries are often so dehydrated that their body cannot produce tear drops. They cry dry tears. Without wells to supply the clean water, a child dies every 22 seconds due to this lack of clean water. That is three children every minute, 180 children every single hour.
Here is where you come in. You have been a constant presence and blessing in my life and I am eternally grateful for this. I am reminded of your simple acts of kindness towards me especially during this holiday season. I don’t think it would ever be good enough to hand you a gift card or a present that I purchase in an attempt to show you how much your friendship has meant to me. For this very reason, I would like to extend a thank you in another way.
This Christmas a donation has been made in your name to the World Vision Clean Water Fund. Because of you, children in developing countries will be saved from disease that could potentially kill them. Because of you children will be able to attend school, no longer having to stay home sick because of water borne disease. These wells are the first step in making developing countries more stable and you have just played a part in working towards that tremendous goal.
This Christmas season please remember the donation that you inspired just by being a friend. Never doubt that you have not made an impact in someone’s life, you impacted my life so much that I am passing it along to children who need the difference so desperately. Because of you children are going to have clean water and a chance to grow up healthy in this world. Because of you, children are going to live, a chance they may not have had if you had not been the person I am so proud to know today.
I hope this season allows you to rest, relax and the see the difference you can make in this world. Thank you for making me the person that I am, giving me incentive to wake up every morning and showing me that grace of friendship. This is just a small gift of thanks in comparison to what you have given me in my knowing you."
Why not give a gift that helps someone else this holiday season? There are millions of people out there who need help and support a lot more than we need meaningless gift cards and more "stuff." I challenge you to find ways to give this season and to think about the value of the gifts that give back.