Ethical giving: A journey of hope and real change
How it begins: Dr. Tanjina Mirza, VP of International Programs
“The holiday season is for spending time with our loved ones. This time allows us to reflect on life’s special moments. For so many, our Gifts of Hope program offers a unique opportunity to do the same – to share something special.
Dr. Tanjina Mirza, VP of International Programs at Plan Canada.
Some call it ethical giving, but Gifts of Hope is really about giving a gift that truly matters. That’s because we offer gifts that bring real hope and real change to children and communities in the developing countries where we work. An ethical gift to someone you love helps us use real dollars to support real projects that change real lives.
These gifts are not symbolic – your contribution supports the actual project described. When you purchase a bed net, you’re supporting our project to deliver bed nets to families living in malaria-affected countries to help fight the spread of malaria. When you give a newborn checkup, your contribution helps ensure new mothers and babies receive the health care they need in the crucial 3 days after birth.
Best of all, Gifts of Hope lead to sustainable change. With every gift purchased, you can help break the cycle of poverty and begin a cycle of progress. I’m sharing this message with you because I’ve seen this impact first hand, and I’ve seen the lasting change it brings to children, families, classrooms and communities.
Read on to witness the power of giving a Gift of Hope. It may start with one person, like Philister in Kenya, but a Gift of Hope will help transform an entire community. And this change starts with you.”
Gifts that reach millions: Meet Philister and her grandchild Mary
As a widow of 20 years, Philister began farming to maintain her income. She worked long, hard hours to help make a life for her children and grandchildren. So when Plan provided Philister with the gift of 2 goats, her world changed.
Philister (right) watches on as her granddaughter, Mary, drinks a cup of goat’s milk.
Plan trained Philister in livestock management so she could properly care for her goats, and she learned to use the goats’ manure to fertilize vegetable gardens. But most important, Philister used the milk from her goats to help keep her grandchild, Mary, healthy and strong.
“She was a weakling and fell ill often,” Philister explains of Mary. Her granddaughter wasn’t thriving like she should, and it began to worry everyone. That’s when Philister introduced goat milk into Mary’s diet, and sure enough, Mary began to thrive.
“My daughter, who will be turning one, is growing faster than children her age,” explains Jackline, Mary’s mother. “Since Mary began taking goat milk, she hardly falls ill.”
For Philister, life as a dairy farmer has led to great success. Her grandchildren are healthy, her milk is being sold at markets for profit, and her crops are growing bountifully.
Change made possible by donors like YOU
Providing a goat to Philister and her family starts with you. People from across Canada support Gifts of Hope because they understand how their gifts are helping others around the world. Each gift is tangible, so you know exactly how your donation is supporting people like Philister.
“I liked the fact that it was a clear solution to a problem,” says Belinda Labette, a Toronto-based business owner. Belinda wanted to find a way to make a real impact. So she enlisted the help of her colleagues, and together they exceeded their own expectations, raising $35,000 for a boat ambulance in Tanzania.
For many of our donors, it’s not always about how much you donate, but how you raise the money. Rebecca Haensel, a teacher at the Beaches Alternative School, thought Gifts of Hope a perfect lesson for her students.
“It was really easy for the kids to look at the catalogue and understand how they are helping,” says Rebecca. Her students took to the idea of helping others immediately. The shoveled driveways, walked dogs and gave up their allowance. Parents and neighbours all took part, and in just a week, they raised $260.
“They were thrilled we had raised enough money to help in more than one way,” explained Rebecca. “Kids feel good when they’re empowered to make a difference.”
Ethical giving empowers everyone. It empowers donors across Canada, and it empowers children, families and communities across the globe. Knowing a Gift of Hope can improve the lives of others is a gift itself, and a feeling you’ll treasure forever.
This holiday season, give a gift that creates real change.