While Advent Conspiracy is about rescuing Christmas from consumerism and restoring it's true meaning, it also is tied strongly to ending the world water crisis. Ten billion dollars would provide fresh clean water to the rest of the world; Americans spent approximately 450 billion dollars on Christmas last year. We can solve a global problem by giving less than 3% of our Christmas budgets to the cause.
Advent Conspiracy asks participating churches/organizations to donate at least 25% of their AC offering/donation (directly, not via Advent Conspiracy) to the water distribution program of their choice. I thought it fitting to highlight the two water organizations we support.
For Advent Conspiracy, Reunion gives away one Sunday's offering to a handful of charities, local and global. This year, the list includes Living Water International (4 stars on charitynavigator.org). We watched that video on Sunday, and their efforts in Haiti (no longer in the headlines, but still in desperate need) really spoke to me.
For Christmas, Living Water offers gift cards. The recipient takes the card (or e-card), visits the Living Water web site, and redeems, in $5 increments, for any of several current water projects. Perfect for a wish list or a gift idea. And, of course, you can simply donate in honor of someone. (Company/employer matching programs exist, and federal employees can donate through their workplace giving campaign.)
If you've been reading the blog very long, you might be familiar with charity:water thanks to Ian's birthday campaign. He gave up gifts in exchange for money to fund a well. His campaign is now closed; in about a year we will learn the location of the project his birthday helped fund. 100% of the campaigns goes to fund clean water. A charity:water campaign is a great way to put water on your Christmas wish list, and it allows both you and givers to track the impact of their combined generosity.
If you're looking for a gift you can hold, check out their gift store - as with campaigns, 100% of the holiday gift price goes toward water projects (% varies on non-holiday gifts, but proceeds still support charity:water and raise awareness). Order by December 10 for delivery by Christmas.
Advent Conspiracy is about spending less to give more - relationally, but also financially to those truly in need. Clean water is essential, yet one in six go without. Let's make this season count, and provide a merry Christmas beyond our borders. The first step is water.
For more Advent Conspiracy ideas, click here.