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10 Great Things to Give for the Holidays: 2014 Edition

An admittedly incomplete, happily biased, and decidedly Baptist list of ideas for gift-giving for peace rooted in justice.


November 3, 2014

10 Great Things to Give for the Holidays: 2014 Edition

Products available through the Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika 2014 product catalog.

You are no ordinary shopper! You strive for peace! You work for justice! Why shouldn’t your gift-giving do the same? Here are 10 gift-giving ideas for lovers of peace and justice! Some are actual, physical, wrap-it-and-hand-it-to someone gifts – and some are gifts you can make in someone’s honor. Happy Shopping!

1. Hope for a Woman in Recovery - Coffee Connection/Project Empower

Project Empower, created by BPFNA member, Joy Bergfalk, merged with the Coffee Connection, of which Joy is the executive director, with fellow member Jimmy Reader as co-director of the nonprofit. The Coffee Connection sells fair trade, organically grown, sustainably farmed premium coffee to retail and wholesale customers while providing a site for employment training and job creation for women in recovery from addiction. The Coffee Connection provides comprehensive, continuous support for women on their journey toward sustainable recovery. You can support this effort by buying coffee or making an in-honor gift.

The Coffee Connection ships anywhere in the U.S. and offers a discount price for five pounds or more per order. Call (585)442-2180, or email [email protected] to order.

You can also click here to make an online donation.

  • Food handler's training: Level 1, $140, Level 2, $104
  • Stipends for women on Social Services who do not receive enough to buy toilet paper and other personal hygiene items: $35 for one week
  • A bag of fair trade, organically grown, sustainable farmed green coffee beans to roast to support programs: $500 to $650!
  • Uniform t-shirt for a one worker --$6 each
  • A donation towards coffee grinders to support Coffee Connection's wholesale business – grinders start at around $840

And if you happen to live in or near Rochester, NY, stop in to one of Coffee Connections three locations for a cup and a chat!

2. Innovative Education for Indigenous Mayan Christians - Mayan Intercultural Seminary

Seeking to be a transformative presence of peace and justice in the midst of the ongoing low impact war in Chiapas, the Mayan Intercultural Seminary gathers indigenous Mayan Christians to work and learn together about peacemaking, conflict transformation, sustainable agriculture, gender equality and youth development undergirded by a commitment to intercultural theology and life.

  • A $50 gift will cover two courses for a certificate student
  • A $100 gift will cover a semester’s tuition for a student in seminary's Bachelor of Intercultural Theology and Pastoral Studies.
  • A $200 gift will pay for the round trip transportation of 5 youth to the annual summer retreat.
  • A $300 gift will pay for 3 youth to participate in the annual summer retreat.

Gifts can be made to BPFNA and designated for “Mayan Intercultural Seminary (SIM).” Click here to make a donation.

3. Community-Based Health Education for Nicaraguan Mothers - AMOS: A Ministry of Sharing Health & Hope

Mirna Dominia is a mother of four children. Until recently, her youngest daughter, Doris, was malnourished, just like about 46% of children in Nicaragua. Doris, age 2, weighed just over 22 pounds before she and her mother joined AMOS' Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids Program. At the beginning, Doris resisted eating the food that her mom and other moms in the workshop had cooked for their kids. She would just sit alone and cry. After three months of receiving health education and support from one of the AMOS Rural Health Care Team staff and trained Volunteer Mothers in her community, Mirna has helped her daughter gain enough to be at a normal weight for her age!

The AMOS Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids Program is one example of the community-based, empowerment-focused model that AMOS uses to work with community leaders in some of the most remote, rural communities in Nicaragua to improve access to health. In other words, we focus on teaching people to "fish" and share their new knowledge with others, not just handing out "fish".  Our work is rooted in Christian values and the co-Directors and founders of AMOS Health & Hope are ABC Medical Missionaries, Dr. Laura and Dr. David Parajón.

Be a part of this life-saving ministry with your gift that will help AMOS in the following ways:

  • $30 - Provide one day of training for one Volunteer Mother, who will train other mothers in her community about topics such as breastfeeding, good nutrition for children under the age of 2, and signs of danger when their child becomes ill.
  • $50 - Provide a set of educational materials for one Volunteer Mother in the community who will be trained to educate and accompany other mothers to improve their children’s nutrition.
  • $150 - Provide a Health Promoter Mentor with transportation needed to visit 3 to 5 rural communities where s/he offers personalized mentoring, supervision, and ongoing education to Health Promoters and Volunteer Mothers who have dedicated their lives to improving the health of those most vulnerable in their own communities.

Make your gift today in one of two ways:

Click here to make a secure online donation over their website.

Or mail a check to "AMOS Health and Hope" to:
c/o Rev. Tim Spring, Board Secretary
3088 Haberlein Rd.
Gibsonia, PA 15044-8232

4. Economic Stability for Kenyan Women - Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika

Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika is a grassroots community-based organization in Kenya that seeks to equip marginalized people in peace-building and income-generation. Many BPFNA members know Pini Kidulah, founder of Jitokese, who attended BPFNA Partner Congregation Central Baptist Church in Wayne, PA and came to BPFNA’s Summer Conference while completing her degree.

For a sustainable gift this Christmas you could purchase chickens and fruit-bearing trees to honor your loved one (Click here). A Christmas card can be printed out indicating the gift you have purchased for your friend or family member. To purchase beautiful, handmade products made by the women in their sewing center, email your request to [email protected] and click here to check out their products catalog.

5. Prevention of Human Trafficking and Support for Survivors

BPFNA friends and leaders in the Justice & Peacemaking Community of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Cindy and Eddy Ruble work as missionaries in Penang, Malaysia. A key focus of their work is implementing prevention measures against human trafficking and providing support for survivors.

  • $50 provides a care kit for a survivor of trafficking;
  • $100 provides one week of shelter, food, medical care and a case worker for a survivor;
  • $200 provides a child sexual abuse prevention training for 30 participants.

Click here to donate.

6. Emergency Help for Migrants and Refugees in Morocco

Long-time friend of the BPFNA Karen Thomas Smith is a chaplain and pastor in the interfaith context of Morocco and asks for support for the churches of Morocco in their efforts to respond to an acute refugee/migrant crisis. Karen writes, "In the current crisis, we estimate that the numbers of migrants and refugees living without shelter reaches 500-600 in Oujda, 200-300 in Fez, and 200-300 in Rabat. In Fes, the Protestant Church is the only group responding to migrant and refugee needs."

  • $8 will buy a blanket for someone living without heat (and often without shelter)
  • $10 will buy food (rice, flour, oil, sardines, sugar) for one adult for two weeks
  • $15 will pay for bloodwork -- one test for diagnosis of illness
  • $20 will pay for a medical prescription for a sick or injured person.
  • $25 will pay for an x-ray for an injured person (often broken bones)
  • $50 will pay for housing for one woman for one month

Send a check to Kentucky Baptist Fellowship, 4000 Brownsboro Rd, Louisville, KY 40207, memo to: CEI Refugee and Migrant Ministries.

7. Rice for Refugees on the Thai/Burma Border

Today there are nine camps for refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) along the Thai/Burma border. The Border Consortium feeds more than 130,000 people in densely populated camps where the opportunities for work are limited or non-existent. This project is managed by ABC Missionary (and friend of the BPFNA) Duane Binkley who reports, “Big donors have lost interest in supporting the refugees and are turning their focus to inside Burma.  In the meantime, the refugees continue to need support until there is some other place for them to go.  So food support for the refugees is critical.”

Small contributions go a long way. For example:

  • $10 supplies rice for a family of five for a week
  • $50 buys the rice and other food for one refugee for two months
  • $61 buys 220 lbs. of rice
  • $100 will feed a family of five for 80 days.

Click here to make a contribution online. OR

Donate by check. Write Thailand/Binkley/Rice for Refugees on memo line and mail to International Ministries, PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851.

8. Sewing Machines and Job Training for Survivors of Domestic Violence - Deborah’s House

Founded by BPFNA members Ray Schellinger and Adalia Gutierrez-Lee, Deborah's House in Tijuana, Mexico provides shelter to women and children fleeing severe domestic violence. But when they’re ready to leave, they face a harsh economy that pays less than $1/hour, demands they work 50-60 hours per week, and offers no child care.

Deborah’s House alumni want to create a sewing business they run themselves. The women will earn a salary three times higher than factory rates which will allow them to spend more time with their young children. 

This project will provide fabric & materials, help the women bid on contract jobs and market their products. They have a building and 2 industrial sewing machines, but they need to purchase several dozen more machines.

  • $250 would buy one sewing machine and all the materials for one family to join the project.
  • $500 pays for 1/10 of the building they’ll be using.

They would love to have volunteers who can teach sewing come visit! 

Click here to donate.

9. Pecans from a "demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God." - Koinonia Partners

Koinonia is a Christian farm community founded in 1942 by Clarence & Florence Jordan and Martin & Mabel England. Home of the Cotton Patch Gospel, birthplace of Habitat for Humanity, Jubilee Partners, Prison Jail Project, Fuller Center for Housing and other ministries. Still growing pecans and peanuts, welcoming visitors, and living the "demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God."

In the 1950's, local businesses boycotted Koinonia to protest the integrated farming community where blacks and whites lived and worked together. Koinonia had no choice but to try selling its farm produce and pecans outside the state of Georgia, thus marking the start of its mail order business. The business took off, and soon a Bakery and Pecan Plant were added, providing employment and job training for local residents.

Click here to access the complete catalogue here.

10. Peace! - Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America!

Of course, we need and welcome your support as well. Here are four specific ways to honor someone:

  • Give a Gift Membership - Give someone a gift membership for just $40 and they’ll receive the award-winning Baptist Peacemaker all year.
  • Give a donation in someone's honor - When you give a contribution of any amount in someone's name, they will receive a card notifying them of your generous gift. Their name and yours will also be published in an issue of Baptist Peacemaker.
  • Honor someone special as your PeaceBuilder - Give someone a gift that's truly meaningful by honoring them as a PeaceBuilder. The BPFNA PeaceBuilders Campaign gives you the opportunity to tell us the story about who shaped your call and commitment to peace.
  • Purchase something from the BPFNA Store - If you prefer more tangible gifts, we have a variety of books, children's books, CDs, and other gifts available on our website.

11. Bonus ideas from BPFNA members

  • Pledge to visit a shut in once a month
  • One month of grass cutting/snow shoveling
  • Grocery shopping for an elderly person
  • Clean house for a neighbor
  • Movie night for a member of the church
  • Coffee and breakfast (with the giver) once a month

From a member whose dad passed away: For those of us who have closets and attics full, unpack your gifts! This idea is especially ringing true to me as we work to dismantle my Dad's/our childhood home. So many THINGS! We had asked Dad several times about giving the grandkids different things -- they would have loved receiving the things he was no longer using, knowing he picked a particular item for them. An added handwritten note with details or the story about how the item was acquired would make the gift even more special.

I hope this list supports your creative, joyful holiday gift-giving. I know this list is incomplete. If you’d like to be included next time or have a new group to suggest, email LeDayne at [email protected]

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