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Quinn on Nutrition: Gifts outside the box

December 12, 2016


The day after Thanksgiving, I was on my horse helping my daughter and son-in-law move their Black Angus cows to a new pasture. 

"This is our version of Black Friday," my son-in-law quipped.

Truly, it’s nice to get out of the usual holiday madness and consider other options for Christmas shopping. Buying local is one example. What a novel idea to keep our friends and neighbors in business so we have the luxury of these unique stores and gifts.

On the other end of the scale are gifts of nutrition for our neighbors — both locally and around the world. Here are some distinct items that last much longer than a box of chocolates:

—Heifer International: In honor of someone on your gift list — let’s say your mother-in-law who loves cows — your can donate money to buy a healthy milk cow for a family in need. And your gift helps assure that this cow will have a calf each year to "pass the gift" on to others in poor communities. This non-profit organization also sponsors the purchase of sheep (wool), goats (milk) and pigs (protein) for needy families around the world. Find the catalog online at www.heifer.org/catalog or call 855-848-6437. 

—Vision Trust:  Children who battle hunger on a daily basis are not able to grow, learn or play, say representatives of this charitable organization. For the cost of buying a gift for someone who doesn’t need one more thing to stuff in their house, you can — in your gift recipient’s name — provide protein-rich meals to a child for an entire year. Or support a chicken farm in a community in need of sustainable nutrition. Find more ideas www.visiontrust.org or call (719) 268-2943.

—Samaritan’s Purse: Named for the story of the Good Samaritan, this Christian organization uses donations to help nourish mothers, infants and children. Just 7 dollars can provide a week of meals to one child in need. Find the gift catalog at www.samaritanspurse.org or call (828) 262-1980.

Salvation Army: In almost every hometown in America and across the globe, this faith-based organization will again be ringing its bells for donations this season. Meals, food and shelter are the gifts we give when we open our pockets to those little black kettles. Every penny helps these dedicated workers continue, as they say, "Doing the most good: to feed, to clothe, to comfort, to care." Get other gift giving ideas and find your local office at www.salvationarmyusa.org. 

I read recently that there’s no time of the year like Christmas to develop unrealistic expectations. It went on to say our deepest longings are for more than just Hallmark moments and memories. Without getting too sappy, perhaps this year we can give up some of our unrealistic expectations and receive — through our giving — the true Gift of this season.

 

 



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