An army of volunteers distributed thousands of toys, clothing items and pounds of food to needy families in San Diego County this past Saturday.
The 13th annual Toys for Joy, founded by Pastor Miles McPherson of The Rock Church, brought together about 2,000 volunteers to hand out more than 10,000 toys, over 50,000 articles of clothing, and 9,000 bags of food – which totaled about 60,000 pounds – to people in the community.
Local children received soccer balls, dolls, and games, among other toys as early Christmas gifts. more >>
A Christian couple who leads a ministry that supports persecuted Christians announced this week their successful adoption of eight Burmese refugee children.
Jim and Karen Jacobson of Michigan-based Christian Freedom International said they may very well be the first Americans to be allowed to adopt Karen refugee children who lack official birth records, which means there was no real way to determine the children’s true eligibility for adoption.
The children, four of whom are siblings, came directly to the United States from Burma’s refugee camps and had no birth certificate. When the Jacobsons had applied to adopt them, the children were already in the United States, but the adoption process was complicated by the missing documents. more >>
Homebuilding ministry Habitat for Humanity International and not-for-profit partner Thrivent Financial for Lutherans celebrated the completion of their 2,000th home on Friday in Minneapolis.
The 2,000th home, which will be purchased by a low-income family, marks the culmination of a four-year, $125 million alliance between the two Christian organizations. During the four-year partnership, more than 1,300 homes were built in the United States along with nearly 700 homes in 32 countries through Thrivent Builds Worldwide.
Among the homes built include 35 homes in a holistic community in El Salvador and 68 homes constructed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. more >>
One of the world’s largest Christian humanitarian organizations aims to raise $25 million to fight poverty this Christmas season by interviewing poor people around the world.
World Vision is currently in the middle of its global “Spirit of Christmas” tour during which team members are interviewing poor people in the United States, Ecuador, Cambodia, Zambia and Ethiopia. The tour seeks to highlight the “heartbreaking” circumstances of the poor and how even a small donation can make a big difference to help families provide for children.
“In a year full of financial scandals, war, natural disasters, and a global recession, we all need a little encouragement,” said Devin Hermanson, campaign manager for the “Spirit of Christmas” tour. “What we’ve found so far is that people around the world are still helping their neighbor in need.” more >>
Former sex workers in Cambodia, AIDS orphans in Rwanda, and marginalized farmers in Palestinian communities are just some of the world’s poorest people who are hoping that American churchgoers will buy their Christmas gifts through a fair trade organization this season.
Instead of shopping at the local mall, Christian company Trade As One is urging American believers to consider buying gifts that will make a deep impact on the life of the producers and help fight global poverty.
The company this year is calling on churches to rally behind the idea of “Just One” – that if every churchgoer in America would buy just one fair trade purchase then it would be enough money to lift one million families out of poverty for one whole year. more >>
Nearly one in four children in the United States lived in a home that suffered from food insecurity in 2008, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In total, 16.7 million children, or 22.5 percent, were from families that had difficulty putting enough food on the table last year. That’s 4.3 million more children than in 2007.
“Child hunger is not just a casualty of the recession,” commented the Rev. David Beckmann, president of the Christian anti-poverty group Bread for the World, in response to the data. “It was a problem before the recession, and unless we take the necessary steps, kids will continue to suffer after the economy recovers.” more >>