The following gifts don’t fit in stockings and probably couldn’t be wrapped in paper and bows. But they just might be the perfect gifts to give family and friends for your virtual or socially distanced Christmas!
Gifts of Hope are life-changing items that help and empower children and families in need all around the world. And this Christmas, you can give a Gift of Hope in honor of a loved one — we’ll even send them a card so they know about the amazing gift you gave in their honor!
These are the most popular Gifts of Hope, and the best gifts to give for Christmas 2020!
The cost of basic food has risen all around the world because of the pandemic, and families living in poverty can’t keep up. But this Giving Tuesday, Holt donors have the chance to do something about it and feed a hungry child.
Can you imagine not having enough food to feed your child?
When Bo lost both of his parents, Holt donors helped provide a safe and nurturing home.
Bo had no one to take care of him after his mother died. Bo lived with his father, but his father was HIV-positive and too sick to care for his son. Bo had also contracted the virus from his parents. In China, a huge stigma continues to surround HIV and everyone in Bo’s village was afraid of catching the virus if they came close to Bo and his father. They were shunned by their community.
No one would help them.
But Holt donors were not afraid to help Bo! You helped Bo move to one of Holt’s group homes for children living with HIV in China. Here, Bo began to receive the nutrition, education and medical care he needs. You also made it possible for him to be taken care of by people who understand his condition and treat him with love and kindness.
Hunger is one of the most devastating needs among children living in poverty. Every day, our staff around the world meet new children who don’t have enough to eat. So many children are sick, dangerously thin, have low energy, listless eyes and more because of lack of food. It’s heartbreaking.
But hunger is also one of the biggest needs Holt donors help meet. This year alone, Holt donors will have helped to feed more than 50,000 children by Thanksgiving.
Your gift to help feed a hungry child can look several different ways in the field. But by whatever means and in whichever circumstance, you help to meet children exactly where they are — rushing food to them in the moment they need it most.
Here are 5 ways you help feed children around the world!
Holt donors help children all around the world — including children in the United States! In Oregon and Washington, you help children find safe and secure foster and adoptive families. You help children like Marc and Jenny!
For two months, Marc and Jenny didn’t have a home. They entered Washington’s foster care system. But there was nowhere for them to go. Nowhere for them to unpack their bag of few belongings.
So they were moved around. They lived with nine different foster families. Never for very long. And when they were in between these foster families, they had to stay in a hotel with their social worker. They spent a total of ten nights in a hotel. Scared, and feeling alone and unwanted.
Finally, Holt staff in Washington found a foster family for Marc and Jenny to live with. These siblings had already experienced a lot of trauma, and the care of a family came right in time.
Every year, a goat is one of the most popular Gifts of Hope given to children and families in need! And it’s no wonder why. Not only are goats cute and fun, but they can change the life of a child and family living in poverty.
Just ask 10-year-old Gloria!
Gloria lives with her mother Gorret, twin sister Angella, and two younger sisters in rural Uganda. And for most of Gloria’s life, they struggled to get by.
After Gloria’s father left their family, they couldn’t pay rent, afford school supplies and even struggled to buy enough food. Her mom, Gorret, didn’t know what to do.
Meeting Gorret now — a woman petite in stature but strong in conviction — it’s hard to believe that she ever felt uncertain about the decisions she makes for herself or her daughters.
“I felt so bad when my husband left,” she shares. “I had so many children and no money to pay rent. I felt very desperate at that time.”
Without her husband’s income, she knew the burden was now on her to support her children. So she decided to move herself and her girls from the capital city of Kampala to her home village. She immediately looked for work, and quickly found a job with another children’s services organization working in her community. But unfortunately, not long after she started, her job was terminated and she once again found herself without any means to support her family.
Macy and Liam were 14 when they found out they were pregnant. They felt scared and lost. But Holt in Wisconsin helped them make a loving open adoption plan for their daughter.
Right after she turned 14, Macy found out she was pregnant. She felt scared, stressed out, sad and lost.
“We didn’t know what we were supposed to do,” she says today through a video call, sitting in her backyard in Wisconsin with Liam. It’s nearly a year later from this time she’s describing — the beginning of their unplanned pregnancy and adoption story.
When Macy got pregnant, Liam was also just 14. For him, money was one of the biggest obstacles — he had no clue how they would financially support a child.
It was late May and they were just finishing their freshman year of high school. Liam was excited to play football over the summer and in the fall, and Macy couldn’t wait for school to be out so she could spend more time with friends and family.
But suddenly, instead, they had a huge decision to make.
In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Holt donors help provide a special school for children living in or near the city garbage dump. Before this school opened, these children spent their days digging through the trash in search of food and recyclables.
This school is the only place many of these children can take a hot shower or get warm . This is especially important in the winter when temperatures in Mongolia can drop to an icy 40 degrees below zero.
But recently, the school was in serious need of renovation. Four doors needed to be replaced and the walls were drafty and needed additional insulation to keep children warm and dry during Mongolia’s extreme winter weather.
Last Christmas, children around the world experienced a huge holiday celebration! They attended parties and received presents and ate special meals. None of these experiences would have been possible without the generosity of Holt sponsors and donors.
Children living in impoverished communities or orphanages around the world often miss out on Christmas and holiday celebrations. For children and families who barely have enough to survive each day, treats, parties and gifts wrapped in colorful paper are impossible luxuries.
But every child deserves to experience the joy and celebration of Christmas. That’s why every year, Holt sponsors and donors go above and beyond to bring Christmas to children all around the world.
When sponsors and donors give $25, a child receives a hand-picked gift, festive meal, treats and a special party with their family and friends! It’s a fun-filled day — giving them wonderful memories that they will cherish all year. This year’s celebrations may look a bit different due to COVID-19 precautions, but Holt staff and partners will work hard to make it just as special!
Take a look at last year’s joyous holiday celebrations around the world!
The director of Holt’s nutrition program, Emily DeLacey, reflects on all of the children Holt donors have helped feed in 2020, and how despite many hardships this year, there’s so much to be thankful for.
Thanksgiving is that time of the year when our precious families come together for a meal and a time to reflect on all that we’re thankful for in our lives. Although this year many of us will be visiting with our families remotely instead of traveling, we have also been given the opportunity to reflect on what really matters the most to us — family, friends, a warm home and the food we feed our families.
This year I am especially grateful for the work that amazing Holt donors, Holt staff and partners around the world have done for children. When the coronavirus crisis hit, hunger was the immediate result. We knew we had to act fast. But in many countries where we work, transportation and school completely closed down — it became very difficult to find ways to even get food to children. But this year in response to COVID, Holt staff and partners — with generous help from Holt donors — stepped up to ensure thousands families and children got enough to eat.
By Thanksgiving, Holt donors will have helped serve more than 50,000 children through Holt’s Nutrition Program in 2020. This is something huge to be thankful for! Each one of these 50,000 children is now healthier, able to learn better and growing to their full potential.