by LeDayne McLeese Polaski
You are no ordinary shopper! You strive for peace! You work for justice! Why shouldn’t your money do the same?
We originally created this list for Christmas – but there are gift-giving opportunities all year long. We hope this list is helpful as you shop for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, special events, holidays – and more!
Here are ten 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. Unique Finds Gifts: Founded by retired American Baptist pastor Dr. Robert A. Southard, Unique Finds Gifts creates new streams of income for people living in poverty and for Christian ministry and missionary efforts. They offer a wide variety of beautiful and affordable products through their on-line store and their retail store in Overland Park, Kansas.
2. 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 140,000 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. It is anticipated that this project will improve the overall survival rate of hundreds of refugees and IDPs in the camps.
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 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.
3. Giving Keys: Each recycled Giving Key is engraved with an inspirational word, such as HOPE, STRENGTH, DREAM or COURAGE – you can choose one of the words listed on the site or custom order a word that’s meaningful to you. You can order your key on a bracelet, necklace chain, or even a phone case! But the gift comes with a catch/opportunity: When you meet someone who needs the message more than you do, you pass your key along to that person (who then watches for someone to whom to pass the key). It is a gift that keeps paying forward!
The employees of The Giving Keys are transitioning out of homelessness and because of this work, they're able to open bank accounts, get apartments, and have hope for their future.
4. Care Kits for Human Trafficking Victims: 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. A gift of $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.
5. Prosperity Candle: Prosperity Candle offers absolutely gorgeous candles and creates opportunities for women (and their families) to flourish by earning a living wage. The candles are handmade, and each comes with the story of the woman who crafted it. Did I mention they are gorgeous?
6. Equal Exchange – Fairly traded coffee, tea, chocolate, olive oil, snacks and more! The BPFNA staff has gone to the trouble of taste-testing just about every available Equal Exchange product – and we can assure you that this is good stuff! Plus, if you order in bulk and use the word Baptist in your order, your purchase also benefits the BPFNA through the Baptist Fair Trade Project!
7. The Coffee Connection: Created by BPFNA members Joy Bergfalk and Jimmy Reader, the Coffee Connection is a not-for-profit business that sells fair trade, organic coffee to retail and wholesale customers while providing a site for employment training for women in recovery from addiction. In partnership with Project Empower, they provide comprehensive, continuous support for women in their journey toward sustainable recovery.
They ship coffee anywhere in the U.S. and offer wholesale prices for five pounds or more in each order. Donations are also needed and welcome!
And if you happen to live in or near Rochester, NY, stop in for a cup and a chat!
8. Partera: Founded and run by BPFNA member Lee McKenna, Partera envisions a world where peace and nonviolence are considered first in the related tasks of repairing breaches, personal, corporate and social, and restoring streets and towns and countries in which we can all live. Through facilitation, training, conflict transformation, policy, research and writing, Partera offers tools of peace, right relationships and social change, working to bring into being renewed communities, organizations, workplaces, societies.
Make a donation in honor of a peacemaker in your life!
9. Help Moroccan Refugees: Karen Thomas Smith is a chaplain and pastor in the interfaith context of Morocco and asks for support for the churches of Morocco which are “rich in people, but poor in resources.” The churches are working to respond to an enormous refugee/migrant crisis even while being a support to their own members. Karen writes, “The vast majority of church members are Sub-Saharan Africans who come here to study, but barely have enough money to live on.”
Send a check to Kentucky Baptist Fellowship, PO Box 7098, Louisville, KY 40257, memo to Support for Karen Thomas Smith.
10. The 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 and they’ll receive the award-winning Baptist Peacemaker all year.
Give a donation in someone's honor: When you give a contribution 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.
I know this list is incomplete. If you’d like to be included next time, email me at [email protected].