Christmas Presents with Meaning


Madeline Shrode, Writer

Tis the season for gift giving. This year, why not give or ask for gifts to help improve the world around you?

New York Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof advises readers to donate rather than receive trinkets, and to ask for gift card to GlobalGiving if they ask for gift cards, which is a website that lists aid projects around the world that a recipient can help. Some examples of projects he gives are children’s education, LGBT+ rights in Central Africa, and women’s health.

Out of 40 Bob Jones students surveyed, only 10 had received or given gifts that benefited others. Some of these were Freshman Mackenzie Edwards, who receives gift bags supporting the Red Cross, and Alanna Hayes, a Sophomore, donates to children through her church.

Even those who had not gotten gifts had causes that they supported. The cause that meant the most to Junior Jonathan Luchini was St. Jude’s, as he has known many people who have gone to that organization for cancer care. Helping people through projects like the Downtown Rescue Mission is what meant the most to Junior Ashlee Sunderman.

Joanne Stevens, a senior, has family friends that runs a cause that she supports. “So, for about ten years, my family has known this other family, and they go down to Guatemala, and there’s this little area in the dumps that they’ve found. They went initially to become missionaries, but they realized the fact that there was no education, so they decided to start a school.”

Joanne and her family go every couple of years to help with the school, and Joanne will be teaching at the school the next time they visit. She also helps from home. “If I ever have a big party, I try to ask for people to bring in school supplies instead of presents.”

Most people don’t have such a close connection to a cause, but if you’re feeling in the spirit of giving this holiday season, see if there is something you can do to make the world a better place.