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Alternative mission giving is just a click away

The 2020-2021 edition of the popular Presbyterian Giving Catalog hits mailboxes this month

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

Jaycee Acosta poses in front of Valley Baptist Medical Center during First Presbyterian Church, Brownsville’s “Photo Scavenger Hunt with a Purpose ” in support of the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. The item to photograph was “Emergency Services” and Scavenger Hunters read about various ways to help provide basic hygiene items — blankets, food, and water — to border regions. (Photo by Dennis Acosta)

LOUISVILLE — The power to make a significant and lasting impact on people and communities around the world can be found on every page of the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.

Now in its seventh, record-breaking year, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog — which is available both in print and online — is filled with a wide variety of gifts that provide real and positive impact around the world, including aid for refugees, access to clean water and ways to end hunger.

“I love seeing the lives of people change,” says Sheku Sillah, regional project manager for Asia and Africa for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. “So that’s why I have my partners who go to hard-to-reach areas. You see people you met with nothing, and now they’re happy, their kids are happy. For me it means a lot of satisfaction … a lot of satisfaction.”

The new catalog, arriving in mailboxes this month, builds on the momentum created by the previous editions. Since it debuted in 2013, more than 43,500 gifts have been given by congregations and individuals through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.

The catalog offers a total of 44 gift options, which are organized into seven categories of need and interest: kits and tools, relief and assistance, water, empowerment of women and girls, livestock, education and formation, and agriculture. Its pages contain everything from farming tools for a family in the developing world to a deep rock well, suitable for those parts of the world where clean water is only found hundreds of feet below the Earth’s surface.

New to this year’s catalog are a fishery kit, Mzuzu drill, family nutrition starter pack, sapling set, rice seeds and community garden.

Because the most popular gift item continues to be the family of chickens, this year’s catalog introduces the new Coop Club. When they sign up to give an egg a day for a year, or a family of chickens each month, donors will receive a welcome package with fun surprises to celebrate their generosity, along with information about the impact chickens have on families in need of a sustainable source of food and income.

“I might not be able to physically work alongside sisters and brothers in other parts of the world, but I can definitely do my part to assure they, too, have clean drinking water or food and seeds or basic hygiene supplies that I take for granted,” says Sheri Dittman, commissioned pastor for First Presbyterian Church in Brownsville, Texas, and part-time coordinator for Congregational Development for First Presbyterian Church in Mission, Texas.

The resource also includes tools to help Christian educators, Sunday school teachers, and pastors engage their faith communities in conversations about generosity and alternative giving.

“Catalogs have been the shopping staple for decades,” Dittman says. “One is able to ‘shop’ without stepping out of the house. I’m not sure who came up with the original concept, but I do recall perusing the Sears Christmas catalog as a child and dreaming big. Presbyterians are also able to dream big through our Presbyterian Giving Catalog. Shopping in the Giving Catalog is to take Christ’s command to love God and love others in concrete ways.  The Presbyterian Giving Catalog is my new Sears Christmas Catalog.”

Now is the time to unite with thousands of others using the Presbyterian Giving Catalog to support the ministries closest to their hearts: feeding the hungry, comforting the brokenhearted and sharing our faith with young and old. Give today by clicking here.

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