Charity, Bookstore Help Make Holiday Giving Easier

People want to help poor children, but the reality is Christmas is right around the corner and budgets are tighter than ever this year. A children ministry and a Christian bookstore say they understand and want to make it easier on the pocketbook to give.

Compassion International, the world's leading Christian child development organization, has joined forces with Christian Book Distributors, the world's largest distributor of Christian products, to help families manage their holiday budget this year.

Anyone who signs up to sponsor a Compassion International child online before Dec. 31, 2008, will receive a $25 gift card to The gift card can be given as a present or used to shop for friends and families on the Christmas list.

"We recognize the need to help children in poverty globally and are thrilled to partner with Compassion International because of their dedication to deliver humanitarian aid to children through the church," said Ray Hendrickson, president and chief executive officer of Christian Book Distributors. "We chose to partner with Compassion because the organization uniquely offers a combination of practical assistance to needy children coupled with sharing the Gospel."

Dr. Wess Stafford, president and CEO of Compassion International, reminds Christians that Christmas is a time to remember the message of God's love for everyone and his teachings to help those in need.

"When Christians partner with Compassion, together we free children from the devastating effects of poverty and allow them to become fulfilled Christian adults and leaders in their countries," Stafford said.

Compassion has three programs each set-up to meet the needs of different stages of a child's development. The ministry works to lift children out of poverty and teach them the Gospel in 25 of the world's poorest countries.

"It is unfortunate that poverty has taught these children that they are helpless and 'disposable,'" Stafford said. But Compassion fights against the detrimental effects of child poverty by working with local churches and Christians around the world to encourage and support these children physically and spiritually.

Since 1952, Compassion International has touched the lives of more than 1.8 million children. As one of the world's largest holistic child development organizations, Compassion International works with more than 65 denominations and 4,729 indigenous church partners to serve more than 1 million children in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.