New Trend: Fewer Presents, More Gifts to the Poor

Post a Comment » Written on December 31st, 2008     
Filed under: News
MILWAUKEE, WI (December 31, 2008) – The family of Mike DeLong, pastor of Milwaukee Covenant Church, was featured in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinal story about the increasing trend of people reducing the number of Christmas presents given to each other in order to increase their assistance to the poor.

“We live in a land of excess – we have so much of everything,” said Sue DeLong, Mike’s wife. “And there are those who don’t have enough.”

The DeLong family pooled $250 with adults on Sue’s side of the family to buy items from a well-known organization’s Christmas catalog. Their purchases included a goat and four chickens for a family in the Third World and contributions toward the construction of a well to bring clean water to a village that currently receives none. They also bought clothes and other items for children in this country.

“It just seemed like we should be able to help,” said Sue. “If everyone did a little bit, it would make such a big difference.”

Evangelical Covenant Church congregations across the country have encouraged members to participate in a variety of projects, especially those offered by Covenant World Relief and the Paul Carlson Partnership. Some have supported projects such as Advent Conspiracy, which has helped bring clean water to people around the world since 2006.

Other churches have given Kiva gift certificates to family and friends. The certificates provide microenterprise loans in emerging countries. When the loans are paid back, the person who received the certificate can decide whether to re-invest or keep the money.

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