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Thursday, December 06, 2007

What Would Jesus Buy?

While this is the name of a great new movie (which we'll never get to see in La Crosse), it's also a question many of us ask ourselves as we see this season of giving and appreciating turned into a lustfest for more and more and more stuff.

So, if you don't want to buy the latest asbestos-laden toys or the world's largest plasma TV, here are some suggestions for honoring your family and friends and helping others, too.

Brad Pitt's Make it Right Project lets you help reconstruct homes for the people of New Orleans. You can buy a bathroom faucet ($40) or low VOC paint ($25) or sponsor a whole house.

The Heifer Project lets you buy a cow or some chickens or rabbits for a poor family somewhere in the world. The animal or farming gift allows the family to sell products and improve their living conditions. The family also agrees to pass along animal offspring to others in their communities.

Mercy Corps is an international humanitarian aid and development charitable organization that focuses on emergency relief services, economic development and civil society.

Of course there are tons of worthy organizations that could use a donation, from The Arbor Day Foundation to your favorite candidate.

Local organizations, including Place of Grace and Options in Reproductive Care would welcome a year end donation as well.

Until the shopocalypse comes, find a way to step out of the whirlpool and consider donations in a loved one's name, homemade gifts, or services you can perform.

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