As Christmas time comes it is a common occurance to try to find that "special" gift that will delight the recipient and will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you did something meaningful. That perfect gift reflects our desire to let people know how special they are to us and to celebrate their meaning in our lives.
The problem comes when we try to identify that special gift. Sometimes it is easy because they need something special to them and we can score a "home run" by purchasing and giving it. For a lot of us, this can be a very frustrating activity since stores are filled with a lot of things that, while nice, just don't seem to convey our sentiments.
Over the years a number of churches have started sponsoring programs that offer an "alternative Christmas gift". These programs most likely found their origins in the Heifer Project where people could purchase animals that would be given to deserving and needy individuals. Baby chicks, goats, rabbits and others seemed to be the hot commodity. That program was and is extremely successful. Perhaps the success lies in the fact that many of us are blessed and giving something to a person half a world away was too overwhelming just on the basis of the mechanics alone.
This program has become very popular in its variations as organizations who have "feet on the ground" provide the opportunity by identifying those small dollar gifts that will make a difference in the lives of the people that they serve.
Maua Methodist Hospital has developed a list of those things that are unique and needed. Please take a look at the descriptions of the projects that are located in the Support > Alternative Christmas menu at the top of this page.