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Give a gift that lasts this Mother’s Day

Presbyterian Giving Catalog provides meaningful alternatives to traditional, holiday giving

by Emily Enders Odom, Mission Engagement & Support | Special to Presbyterian News Service

the Rev. Jonathan Reinink (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — If even a llama loves its mama, as the children’s saying goes, what about a baby goat? Or a chick for that matter?

The Presbyterian Giving Catalog has the answer.

Because goats, for one, remember both their babies’ cries and their family ties, according to an article on the Live Science website, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog is introducing a new way to celebrate all mothers — whether on the farm or in the family — this year.

In honor of the unbreakable bond that exists between mother and child, and because gifts of candy and flowers don’t last, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog is offering three alternative gifts, each with lasting impact, to commemorate Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 9.

The Mother’s Day goat-giving card

When a donor decides to gift a Family of Chickens, a Pair of Goats or Beekeeping Supplies through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, they will be making a choice to honor a special parent figure by helping to create lasting, positive change around the world.

“Gifts from the Catalog are perfect for my loved ones, not only because they are gifts that represent meaningful values that we share, but because they beg for interesting conversation to follow,” says the Rev. Jonathan Reinink, associate pastor for Congregational Care and Growth at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, Mo. “I mean, how could you not talk about giving someone livestock, a sewing machine, or a latrine!”

Now in its seventh, record-breaking year, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog — which is available both in print and online as well as for immediate download in Spanish and Korean — is filled with a wide variety of gifts that spread hope and provide help and relief to families and communities in need, including aid for refugees, access to clean water and ways to end hunger.

Because Reinink previously served in the office of Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog prior to starting his current call earlier this year, he understands firsthand the life-changing ministry that each Catalog item represents.

“I will certainly be putting together a program for our church’s May and June newsletters that promotes the Catalog as a missions and ministry opportunity, while celebrating the parent figures in our lives,” he said. “I am convinced that the Catalog is our Church’s hidden gem, especially for anyone teaching or entertaining children.”

And, even more significantly, Reinink is also a self-proclaimed “farm boy,” originally from Ontario, Canada.

“My family has deep roots in agriculture, making livestock gifts especially meaningful,” says Reinink. “They know what it takes to raise a flock of chickens, the excitement that a herd of goats can bring, and the importance of holistic approaches to farming. Because I no longer live and work on the farm but rather in ministry far from home, engaging with the Catalog is one way to invite conversation where we all have a certain level of expertise — they in farming and I in ministry — and explore together how those two might interact around the world.”

The Rev. Jon Reinink is pictured with his mother in 2014. (Photo courtesy of Jon Reinink)

For Reinink, this Mother’s Day will be especially poignant since the national observance on May 9 will mark 500 days since he has last seen his parents due to COVID-19 quarantines and travel restrictions. He says he is looking forward to “spicing up his regular notes, cards and calls” to his mother and father by taking advantage of the various acknowledgment opportunities offered by the Catalog in conjunction with the two annual holidays. Plans for a similar initiative are already under way to commemorate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 20.

For Mother’s Day, donors to the Catalog have the option of printing and mailing a downloadable giving card, sharing a Mother’s Day social graphic to honor their special person and the gift that they have made in their name, and/or posting a photo and a note of gratitude in a social post using the tag @givingcatalog and the hashtag #PGCMothersDay.

“Sending a gift of some goats or chickens with a special card— and likely a cheesy, rhyming note inside — is something that I’m looking forward to on Mother’s Day and again on Father’s Day,” Reinink said. “And not only will it give us something to smile and talk about that isn’t among ‘the problems of the world,’ these meaningful Catalog gifts will join with others, bringing livestock and other Catalog items to people around the world in a way that builds up the lives of individuals, families, and communities so their life trajectories are changed, all in the name, and for the glory, of the Great Shepherd himself!”

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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