Friday, November 1, 2013

31 Days: Giving That Gives Back

Well, Halloween is over. Today, the world settles into a two month long stretch of utter Christmas mania. And we all begin to internalize it just a little. Gift giving, cookie baking, food shopping, all begin to buzz loudly in our heads, call to us in our sleep, and lure us into a retail frenzy.

It's been a while since I blogged about human trafficking here on the blog. I think as Christmas approaches time to take up the reminder again. The frenzy of Christmas, especially in America, can lull into a sort of coma about the justice issues in the world around us. There is just too much happy to be had. We begin feel the pressure to buy and to make and to gather and to sing. "What can we do about child sex slaves today? Forget about it. Grab another peppermint latte and sing 'Joy to the World'".

But the truth is, there is much we can do to reduce the demand for slaves around the world with our purchasing power. My friend Lisa Hendey ran a great post yesterday asking us to consider how our consumption contributes to slavery. It's important that we all realize that we do not have to be paying for sex create a market for modern day slavery. Much of our consumption of normal goods increases the market for cheap labor, and thus slavery, in developing nations. Want to know how much? Take the time to fine tune your slavery footprint here. It's disconcerting to know how much our purchases drive this evil. And it is a call to be more intentional about the way we use that power. Especially in the height of consumer craziness that is Christmas.

Why not add freedom to the list of gifts you'll give this Christmas? Slow down a bit and try to be intentional in the ways you spend, gift and celebrate this Christmas. There are ways to shop and give that are ethical and responsible and will drastically lower the demand for slavery around the world. And many of these options actually contribute to a better world. We can shop local, support social and micro-enterprises, give gifts of charity, and educate while we give. We can avoid the "no room at the inn" mentality of Christmas that tells us we have no time to be slow and intentional and make room for Christ-like love.

So I will be beginning starting today a series of  31 Days posts about shopping ethically and responsibly this Christmas season. About giving that gives back and giving that gives freedom. Join me, please? Not only will you learn more about the issue of modern day slavery and its implications for our lives, but you will be introduces to some lovely businesses and gifting opportunity that will inspire you and give you the gift of hope in the goodness of humanity.

I'll revisit many of the groups I discussed in the 31 Days of Action series about trafficking last year. And giving you more information about many of the groups listed in the Responsible Shopping links on the tab above. So today, why not read Lisa's post, assess your slavery footprint and set up a bookmarks folder for the links we'll visit over the next 31 days? Grab yourself a fair trade latte each morning and settle in to make a difference this Christmas.

Feel free to use the button below to share this series with your blog readers. Grab the image and link it back to this post. I will add the links to all 31 posts in the series here each day.

Day 3: Lovely Linens
Day 4: How Not to Be the Grinch
Day 5: Connected in Hope
Day 6: Christmas Clothes
Day 7: The Philippines Disaster Response
Day 8: Meet Mercy Goods
Day 9: Mercy Covers for the Homeless
Day 10:Fund Freedom
Day 11: Old-Fashioned Fun
Day 12: Coffee Talk
Day 13: What She Said

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