With May Day comes memories of picking a bouquet of dandelions and, if they were in bloom, Lily of the Valley, and carefully arranging them in a little homemade basket woven from strips of construction paper. I’d hang the basket on the front door of our house, ring the bell, then run and hide – waiting and watching for my mother to find her
I’d pretty much forgotten about the May basket until one May 1st years later when I happened to be in Cannes, France. May Day is a big deal there! With breakfast came a sprig of Lily of the Valley, and on the street that day we saw many carrying flowers.
Now as May Day has arrived once again, I think back to those fun childhood activities.
The lives of so many children in this world are very different from the one I knew as a kid, and from the lives of our own children today. So many things we take for granted are luxuries of which many kids can’t conceive.
For months I’d seen the Christian Children’s Fund commercial on television. For months, I didn’t pay much attention to it. But one day, for some reason, I took notice. I ended up sponsoring a little girl named Lilian who lives in Honduras. It’s amazing how a relatively small amount of money can make such a difference in a person’s life. I look forward to the letters I receive from Lilian and her family, and am touched to be addressed by them as their “Godmother Rebecca.” Pretty incredible!
There are kids – and adults – all around us who could use our help.
The area in which I live is considered fairly well-off…yet there are families locally who are struggling financially. People in this country and around the world are impacted by the after-effects of disasters, both manmade and natural. And of course, poverty continues to be a difficult reality for many worldwide.
Help can come in many forms, including (but not limited to) financial donations. Your church or community may have programs in place to help those less fortunate, both locally and across the globe.
You may be involved with these or other efforts already.
However, if you’d like to do something but don’t know where to start, two charities to check out are Christian Children’s Fund and Compassion International . They’ve both received an “A”
rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy, both post their annual reports online so you can look into their track records, and both post quite a bit of information regarding their programs online as well.
Christian Children’s Fund was founded in 1938 by J. Calvitt Clarke, a Presbyterian minister, initially to help the many children and families displaced by the second Sino-Japanese war. Today CCF assists more than 10.5 million children and family members in 33 countries.
Compassion International was founded in 1952 by Reverend Everett Swanson, initially to provide Korean war orphans with food, shelter, education and health care – as well as Christian training. Today Compassion International helps more than 728,000 children in more than 20 countries.
That said, We can help people in need all over the world – any time of the day or night – with our prayers. It doesn’t cost a dime and can move mountains.