"...give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back."
Alternative Giving is a form of gift giving in which, instead of buying a gift for someone, a donation to a charitable organization is made in the person's name. Usually, the organization provides a certificate or a card which can be given. This Christmas season, consider giving an alternative gift from the wide variety suggestions below, which include Local (including your church), National, and Global options.
- ACTION IN THE COMMUNITY THROUGH SERVICE (ACTS) is a community organization whose mission is to alleviate hunger, homelessness, and domestic violence, and to help people achieve self-support int he Prince William County Area. DONATE
- OBUMC PRESCHOOL provides an extraordinary service to the PWC community. Its mission includes reaching out to children with special educational needs and limited financial resources. The classroom sizes are kept small so that the 2 and 3 year old classes have a 1:4 teacher:student and the 4/5 classes have a 1:5 teacher to student ratio. Donations can be placed in the offering plate or left at the preschool office ("Preschool Tuition Fund" in the memo). Visit the preschool website.
- THE PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS (PWCSPCA) works with the PWC Animal Shelter. This all-volunteer organization is dedicated to protecting domestic animals from cruelty, neglect, and abandonment, and stopping the unnecessary overpopulation of companion animals. PWSPCS's goal is to end the euthanasia of adoptable cats and dogs in PWC by promoting and supporting programs involving mutually beneficial relations between people and companion animals. DONATE
- HEART HAVENS (Virginia Conference of the UMC) provides for the residential needs of adult individuals with intellectual disabilities through the development and management of group homes throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. DONATE
- RISING HOPE UMC was established with the mission of bringing the "power of Christ" and the "support of the church" to the community living in poverty south of Alexandria, VA along the Route 1 Corridor of Fairfax County. Donations can be placed in the offering plate ("Rising Hope" in the memo). Visit the Rising Hope website. DONATE
- CARETAKERS OF GOD'S CREATION is a United Methodist Church and Community Ministry dedicated to caring for and healing God's creation. They work with congregations in Virginia to enable them to make the connection between Biblical theology and a sense of responsibility to be in relationship to God's creation. DONATE
- SERVE is a Manassas-based community organization. SERVE's programs includes a shelter, a food distribution center, transitional housing, emergency assistance, and life skills education for individuals and families in need in Western PWC, Manassas, and Manassas Park. DONATE
- HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY is a grassroots Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to the elimination of poverty and substandard housing in PWC through building or renovating houses in partnership with families who meet HFH criteria. DONATE
- HYPOTHERMIA/DROP-IN SHELTER:
Its purpose is to provide the "chronically homeless" a place to eat, sleep, and connect with support services (make appointments, get referrals, etc). The Cooperative Council of Ministries operates the shelter along with Prince William County. LEARN HOW TO DONATE HERE
- THE SOCIETY OF ST. ANDREW (SoSA) is a hunger relief organization that provides food through gleaning excess nutritious produce from fields and orchards. Each $12 donation provides about 600 servings of fresh food. Send an SoSA alternative gift "Christmas Card."
- THE SALVATION ARMY is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. DONATE
- AZALEA CHARITIES provides aid for sick, injured, or wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. Its efforts in behalf of Aid for Wounded Warriors provide comfort and relief items. Many of the servicemen and women are grievously wounded and will require long hospitalization and rehabilitation. The purpose of our mission is to lift their spirits and enhance their morale as well as affect a lifetime support program. DONATE
- THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. DONATE
- VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA is a nonprofit organization with thousands of human service projects throughout the US (including the Hilda Barg shelter in PWC). Volunteers of America is also an interdenominational church with a distinctive ministry of service. DONATE
- UMCOR RESPONSE TO NATURAL DISASTERS IN THE US: Through local United Methodist churches and trained disaster response workers, UMCOR provides immediate relief, assistance with cleanup and rebuilding, pastoral counseling and support following natural disasters in the US. DONATE
- DONOR'S CHOOSE is an online charity connecting individuals to classrooms in need. Public school teachers from across the US post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount. GIVE THE GIFT OF GIVING
- UNITED METHODIST COMMITTEE ON RELIEF (UMCOR) ALTERNATIVE GIVING CATALOG: Take a look through the UMCOR Alternative Giving Catalog for a wide range of national and international projects that you can support. GUIDE
- OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD demonstrates God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. If you missed a chance to fill a shoebox with toys and other gifts for a girl or boy in need, you can still BUILD A BOX online.
- HEIFER INTERNATIONAL'S mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. With gifts of livestock and training, they help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. Families agree to one of it's animals offspring to another family in need. DONATE
- HIGHLAND SUPPORT PROJECT serves the Mayan communities of Guatemala through transformational development projects and offers service-learning trips to North Americans in an ongoing mission to foster meaningful exchange and understanding across the Americas. DONATE
- DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. DONATE
- KIVA empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe through microfinance (microloans). KIVA partners with local microfinance institutions to provide microloans to qualified entreprenuers. Each lender selects which entrepreneur to support. GIVE THE GIFT OF GIVING (KIVA CARD)
- UMCOR MISSIONARIES AROUND THE WORLD: Support the work and ministry of a United Methodist missionary serving outside the US. DONATE
- COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL provides child development aid to more than 1 million children in 26 counties, focusing on the spiritual, physical, economic, and social needs of children. LEARN MORE
- ART FOR HUMANITY founded by the Rev. Glen Evans, helps the poor help themselves. One of the group's projects involves collecting shoes and sending them to Honduras so children can attend school and adults can find jobs. DONATE
Looking for a great way to get your kids involved! Instead of buying gifts that are just more "stuff" to have, you can give a gift that makes a difference in the life of another child. Gifts through Initiatives of Hope start at only $5! Download the "catalog"