Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 17, 2009 / 30 Kislev 5770

The Perfect Gift

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Most people who haven't finished (or even begun) their shopping are starting to worry about what gifts to give a friend, relative or spouse. Quick, what did you give or receive last year? How about two years ago? Most of us can't remember, unless it was a big-ticket item.


What if you could give a gift that mattered; one that literally kept on giving and improved the life of another person? Would you buy that gift?


Two years ago I bought two gifts for people I have never met. One was a goat and the other a sewing class. Both went to people in countries who need just a little to enable them to take care of themselves and their families.


The gifts were purchased through the humanitarian organization World Vision (www.worldvisiongifts.org) and while I can't track my gifts, World Vision has told me stories of people who have received similar presents. They are accounts that should touch every heart and motivate more of us to commit ourselves to things that actually produce results (unlike so much of what Washington does, which mostly produces mounting debt and bigger government).


The gift of goats helped a Ugandan girl orphaned by AIDS. Teopista doesn't remember her parents. Her father died of AIDS and within a year her mother died of the same disease. Teopista was passed around to various relatives, before a family with seven children of their own took her in. They are subsistence farmers and so are barely able to provide for themselves.


Last March, Teopista received her first gift ever, two goats from World Vision. The goats will not only provide milk but fertilizer for the family garden. The goats are already reproducing and when there are enough, some can be sold to provide income.


In El Salvador, Anastasia Mercedes Rivera says the money she makes from breeding chickens she received from the gift catalogue provides enough to pay school fees for five of her 10 children. The chickens sell for $1.15 per pound, which produces more money than she has been making at odd jobs. Before she received the chickens, Anastasia's children walked long distances on unpaved roads in worn out shoes -- or barefoot -- to school. Now she can buy shoes for school.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Sewing lessons provided Mariana Prendi, a single mother in Albania, with job skills and a steady income since her husband died in an accident 11 years ago. She says she feels "confident and safe" for her family's future. "Now, I'm learning a vocation that fulfills me and gives me joy."


These stories are typical of what small and inexpensive gifts can do for people in great need. They are not welfare, like so many dead-end American programs. Call them "help-fare," because they help people to become self-sustaining. That's a value embraced by most conservatives and even, I suspect, by some liberals.


World Vision also helps some of the world's estimated 2 million sexually exploited children, most of them girls, through its Trauma Recovery Center. One such girl, "Charity" (real names and countries are not used to protect the children), was rescued from a life of sexual exploitation. Orphaned and alone at age 12, Charity was thrilled when a foreign man asked her to go for a boat ride to an island. You can guess the rest. She was forced into prostitution, but amazingly she escaped. Police brought her to the trauma center where she received counseling, support and training in skills that will allow her to become self-sufficient in the future.


There are many more such stories that could be told and many that won't be told unless people literally give the gift of a new life to people who otherwise are without hope. Gifts are also available for Americans who need a small amount of capital and encouragement to begin to stand on their own feet.


Think about that as you use your charge card for those last-minute gifts that will be too-soon forgotten. The gift of a new life! Despite what the ads tells us, isn't this the real meaning of Christmas?


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


BUY THE BOOK
Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles