Day #18 GOODchristmas:: International Migrants Day

Did you know that every year there are about 4 billion T-shirts sold worldwide? When was the last time you thought about who made the shirt you’re wearing?

When we think about the people that make our stuff overseas, we may think of large, urban factories in developing countries like China, India, and Bangladesh. But did you know that most of the stuff made in these urban factories is made by migrants that come from rural areas? Migrants are people who must move place-to-place for work because they can’t find work in their own communities. Having to migrate for work has created cycles of poverty in these rural areas as well as other issues such as:  abandon children, broken families and communities, and increased vulnerability to crimes of injustice like human trafficking.

Today, wear your shirt inside out to help bring awareness to International Migrants Day. Take time to reflect: there is a face, with a family, with hopes,  dreams and a future that made what you’re wearing. Also, check out FACES Apparel. They are a wholesale T-shirt company that uses fair-wage Mobile Factories that bring work to struggling communities globally.

           “Factories don’t make products, people do.” – FACES Apparel

For the next month, or maybe even the next year, wear all your shirts inside and talk to people about why. Do some research. Find out more about how you can help be a voice of change and hope for the migrant worker. How will this impact the way you shop throughout the year and the clothes you buy?

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Day # 15 GOODchristmas:: Joy

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to

give. — Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Spread a little holiday joy – while at that drive through today (or this week) pay for the person behind you.

 

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. Proverbs 11:24 (msg)

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Day #14 GOODchristmas:: Homelessness

Change only happens when we have the courage to look at ourselves and our world as it really is. When we do, we’re often brought face-to-face with pain. It’s only when we face suffering, confront it, and work to overcome it, that we experience growth. –  Mark Horvath of Hardly Normal and Invisible People

Too often when we look at people that are homeless, we judge based on how we think they became homeless. Even the disciples thought like this. When they saw the blind man they asked

“Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”  But Jesus response was one of love, compassion, and ACTION. 3-5 Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.”

Homelessness is an adjective, only a part of where someone is at, not an all encompassing of their humanity. The definition of homeless is “having no home or permanent place of residence”. Period. Today, check out http://invisiblepeople.tv/blog and met the faces of homelessness. Listen to their stories – ones filled with lost dreams, but also hope. See if their 3 wishes are not much different than your own. Then, take a large packet of socks with a gift card to that homeless person that came to your mind when you started reading this.

 

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Day # 13:: GOODchristmas:: Hope

The attention of the world might sometimes be elsewhere, but history is watching. It’s taking notes.

 And it’s going to hold us to account, each of us. – Bono

Wear a red ribbon on your wrist, or another red article of clothing/accessory today as a reminder to remember and pray for all the victims of AIDS – both locally and globally.

When the story of these times gets written, we want it to say that we did all we could, and it was more

 than anyone could have imagined. – Bono

HIV/AIDS has been a stigma in the Church for too long. Our goal is to encourage others to show the love of

Christ by caring for those infected and affected by this pandemic. – Rick Warren

 

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An Experience Jar:: A Teacher’s Christmas Gift

Every year teachers get so much STUFF during the holiday time. Mugs, candy, bags, etc. I really enjoy giving a gift that has a special meaning attached to it, but don’t usually have a lot of money to make that happen.

This year, as my husband and I started talking about ideas for Christmas gifts we came across a few posts about “minimalist gift ideas.” They are a little different then you might think. One of my favorites ideas was to focus on giving gifts that create experiences. I thought this would be perfect for a teachers gift… but how to do this on a small budget?

This is the idea that came to me::

What’s in the jar::

1. cranberries

2. popcorn cornels

3. 1 needle

4. bakers twine

5. mason jar (I thought the blue was festive)

It’s a gift of memories with friends and family. It includes all the “ingredients” needed to spend time with someone(s) special in their life. Either to make a holiday decoration, or a special snack with the yummy smells of the holiday. It’s simple, but meaningful.

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Day # 12 GOODchristmas:: Feed The Hungry

The alarming results show that 1 in 6 Americans is still food insecure and now more than 50 million Americans. This includes 1 in 4 children. – Feeding America

GIVE UP YOUR BREAKFAST TODAY. Reflect on local kids that go to school hungry everyday. Ask your local public school if they have a program that provides breakfast for kids from low-income families and how you can help. Or visit FeedAmerica.org to find out ways you can help.

Give up your breakfast for the whole week!

Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me. – Matthew 9:37

 

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Day # 11 GOODchristmas:: Neighbor

A smile is the beginning of love. – Mother Teresa

 

Smile and say “hi” to 10 people you don’t know while you are out and about today.

Smiling is infectious,

You can catch it like the flu.

Someone smiled at me today,

And I started smiling too.

~Author Unknown

 

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Day #5 GOODchristmas:: Compassion = Happiness

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Dalai Lama

Today while out to lunch, or shopping, meet someone new. Be the warm and welcoming smile they might not have expected. Pray for them throughout the rest of the day. You never know how it might touch that person today.

Have you ever experienced an unexpected, unwarranted smile from a stranger? How did it affect you?

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Day #6 GOODchristmas:: Mercy

nelson mendela

You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution. ― Nelson Mandela

 

Choose a country that you feel bitterness or anger towards. It can be a place that has wronged you or your family. Maybe it’s a place where the leaders have or are hurting their own people or using them to hurt others. Pray a prayer of blessing on them. Pray that God will bring them back through love, kindness and justice, not hatred or revenge.

 

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Romans 12:14 (MSG)

 

 

(Post in honor of  the life and courage of Nelson Mandela. May we all have the courage to stand up for justice and peace with love and mercy.)

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Day # 4 GOODchristmas – Love A Stranger

It’s crazy and crowded wherever you go this time of year. Put to practice loving a stranger today by letting others go in front of you – at the store, in your car, when at your local coffee shop; maybe even while waiting for a table at a busy restaurant.

 

“There are no great things, only small things done with great love” – Mother Teresa

 

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