Just in time for Giving Tuesday and the Christmas holidays, actress Patricia Heaton has teamed up with World Vision to offer her own collection gifts in the nonprofit's annual gift catalog.
The “Carol's Second Act” actress has been committed to doing humanitarian work alongside the Christian organization World Vision for many years and her Opportunity Collection by Patricia Heaton is now part of their gift catalog, which can be viewed here.
Heaton, who says she's not interested in the indulgence that comes with the holidays, plans to commit her time this season to family, work, and helping others. Her collection features a handmade mango wood bowl, acacia wood serving spoons, and a set of four hand-carved coasters. Proceeds from each piece will help to empower people in need.
World Vision is also offering shoppers Heaton’s complete collection with every donation of $310 or more to the “Where Most Needed” fund. The Where Most Needed fund addresses specific, urgent needs in World Vision’s humanitarian work.
Below is an edited transcript of The Christian Post's interview with Heaton where she explains why she is committed to World Vision and shares some of her most treasured traditions during the holidays.
Christian Post: When you're not on set, one of the things you enjoy doing is working with World Vision. Will you talk about the importance of collaborating with them?
Heaton: My first example of Christian charity was watching my dad write checks every month, as he sat at the dining room table, to various Catholic Charities.
He was a guy who was very nervous about money and he had five kids. He was paying tuition for Catholic education and yet he made sure he still sent money to various charities. He never talked about it, but I saw him do that every month. So that made an impression on me.
Jesus said, "to whom much is given much is expected." So I think it's very important that we do that, but you want to be responsible in how you give and who you give to. World Vision is so transparent and they're really great with the money they receive. I believe 86 cents of every dollar goes directly to the program. So they keep the overheads low, and they make sure that the money is really having an impact and I've seen it with my own eyes.
There's some very basic things that people in other countries are missing, such as clean water. World Vision is really tackling that in a big way. They happen to be the biggest provider of clean water in the world. They really know what they're doing and they know how to make sure the wells and the water sources that they're installing in different areas will last 20 to 30 years.
They make sure that the wells are sustainable, and they train people who live within these areas to do repairs. So they really just have it down. So if anyone is looking for a place where their dollar will mean the most, it's World Vision for sure.
CP: What do the holidays mean to you?
Heaton: Well, I think it's about family and I think that's what everybody associates with the holidays. Sometimes not in the best way because It can also bring out family issues when everybody's gathered together. But I just love having that one time of year when we can get all our boys together, especially now that they're all out of the house.
CP: What are some of your Christmas traditions?
Heaton: We cut down our own trees. My husband's British, so I like to do a classic, Sunday roast. Especially making popovers, which they call pudding, but here we call them popovers, which is wonderful, chewy, eggy rolls that you make with a lot of eggs and milk and butter.
In England, they have things called Christmas crackers which is like a little cardboard tube with a gift inside and a little riddle and a little paper crown. One person takes hold of one end and another person takes hold of the other and you pull it apart and it makes this popping sound and all these things fly out. You put on these silly paper crowns around the table during the meal and ask each other the riddles or tell the jokes that are on the paper. So it's a really fun silly tradition.
CP: Tell us a little bit about the faith aspect of your holidays.
Heaton: We usually do a Christmas service on Christmas that's really important. I think that's really important. I think that’s obviously a reminder of what it's all about. It's easy to get caught up in the commercialism of it all. Actually, this is the first year where I've told everyone I'm not buying. My boys are all in their 20s, and so I said to my husband after last year that I realized that I get so cranky during the Christmas season. This whole gift thing and it's just making me anxious and cranky. I just don't want the holidays to be about that. And they're too old for it anyway and they don't need anything.
Maybe the boys will pull things out of the hat and get one gift for each other and my husband and I can get one gift for each other. Maybe we get one family gift like a game we're going to play or something. So I'm glad that we're coming into that season so I don't have to worry about all that because that takes some of the joy out of it.
I think a lot of moms and parents get anxious about gifts, and things like that make the holidays stressful and I think we need to work toward making it just about our family being together.
The thing is, you get in the habit of "this is what Christmas is," and it takes a couple of years to recognize: “You know what, we've all changed so our traditions can change a little bit.” Ultimately, Christmas is never about the gifts. It's about family being together and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
To learn more about World Vision and their annual gift catalog, visit www.worldvision.org or call 1-855-WV-GIFTS.