a3Many people lament that “the holiday season is too materialistic.”

What can we do? My suggestion is to donate, even a small amount of money, time or food to needy causes.  This month, my friend, keynote speaker singer-songwriter, Jana Stanfield, flew to Bali, as she does annually, to volunteer at Widya Asih IV Orphanage and Poor Children Care orphanage and help raise money for them.  She shares her gifts of humor and song and finds that she actually receives more than she gives.

A second simple giving process: Mr. Muhammad Yunus (photo a above), who conceived the concept of micro-loans was the 2006 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He realized that lending money could help create peace, as stated on Mr. Yunus’ website, “lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty.” Mr. Yunus’ new book will be out in January. Check it out, “Creating a World Without Poverty.”

Give the gift of entrepreneurship and lessen world poverty by joining Keva.

I have given a donation by purchasing gift certificates in the name of my daughter and son.  That’s a holiday present that keeps on giving as we gift a loved one with the power to change someone’s life forever. Once the loan is given, the new entrepreneur starts a business, and starts repaying the micro-loan.  This is not a bail-out! That re-paid money can then be used again to loan to someone else.  That’s a great return on our money.

Many loans are given to women which, among other benefits, gives them more status in their communities. Studies have shown that in many cases, domestic abuse has also decreased. Check out the CGap for more information on financial services for the world’s poor.

My third recommendation is a program  where my friend, Ali, works in the finance department. It’s called Pro Mujer (“for women” in Spanish) specifically for women in South America to help them start or expand a business.

Of course the gift of hope can be given at any time during the year!  My wish is that you find peace and hope during this holiday season and always, and that there is time to give the gift of hope to others around the globe.

Blessings to you and yours.

Learn more about traveling to Italy on Lenora’s Italy Retreats For Women
Find out more about Lenora’s Sweet Life Workshops and Sweet Life Happiness Coaching.

You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.