The holidays are the time of year – when everyone else travels.
For human-rights workers – the budget rule is usually to hunker down where you are – be it abroad – or stateside,
-as the cost of plane tickets skyrockets, doubles-and-triples – and potential passengers from around the world compete for seats – on planes, trains, and auto-mobiles,
-rick-shaws, bicycles, and cruise ships.
Cranberries are a special holiday flavor – in the midst of the hustle and bustle – because they are one of the special foods that the Algonquian people shared with the malnourished English settlers on the original day of Thanksgiving.
Fresh cranberries are a crisp favorite seasonal pleasure for many – however, due to the vastly wet and cool growing conditions – which are best-suited for countries of the Northern Hemisphere, with the exception of a few high altitude mountainous regions beneath the global poverty line –
– fresh cranberries are not easy to cultivate in dry villages,– which means, these little holiday berries have to travel, too.
Fresh cranberries can be sauteéd down into sweet syrups, sauces, packaged in cans, powders, bottled juices, jams and food dehydrators, and other processing, the same cranberryd flavor can be brought to the ends of the earth – in the same spirit as frankincense and mhyrr.
During our first few village Christmas seasons, we could not afford gifts for the little children in the village – instead, they had beautiful traditions of dancing together on Christmas Day.
It wasn’t until about four seasons in that we were able to put up our first Christmas tree – made possible by the kindness of a donor.
Another year, we added in the tradition of holiday music – and added piano lessons until all of the children could play Jingle Bells.
Every year we challenge the village children to make paper projects, that have grown increasingly more beautiful as years have passed by.
Cranberries offer great nutrition for children, and help fight off and prevent UTI infections. For children who are HIV+, any kind of healthy food that offers anti-bacterial benefits are a blessing.
Raw cranberries have a bitter taste, but when cooked with sugar form very nice syrups and flavor – another example of a popular bitter flavor being a lemon – or a lime – and add a special holiday flare to some of your favorite seasonal dishes.
Child laborers in the early years of America found work on cranberries in the 1930’s – and lived in similar conditions as many of the child laborers of today. Child right’s activists know that good legislation helps to protect society in many different ways.
The idea of activism, and nonprofits for our free nation was actually an idea born of Harvard University – which was the first establishment of learning and higher education in the newly-developed America. Harvard University was and is located near a cranberry bog – which became a local source of identity and color that has served the university and the world with authentic crimson, defined as an ‘arterial red’.
Activists from early Harvard, and around the world wrestled with the ideas of how to build a nation that respects human rights – and to encourage through education, legislation and rules to where the children of a society are entitled to schooling, free from labor, and to have rights to medical care, food, resources, safe labor – and housing – is something that we’ve struggled as a nation towards – but have not yet fully arrived.
Offshore slaves hope and wish for the day that many of those same amenities can be made available for them. That’s why – around the holidays especially, it is important to incorporate giving into your holiday budget.
Help another child go to school. Encourage another law for the protection of children in your own community be put into writing. Sign another letter – supporting those who are out there fighting and working for human rights issues. Hire somebody for a simple task that you don’t want to do to give them a bit of financial support or freedom.
As you enjoy your cranberries this Thanksgiving and Christmas season – let the appearance of this bright ‘arterial red’ fruit be a reminder to you of the blessings of indian cultures – and your visual cue to actively participate in the need for child rights – and human rights – and donations & gift-giving, all around the world.
It’s not necessary to travel to the ends of the earth during the holiday seasons in order to send a gift that matters:
World Vision Catalogue – Pick out a short-term project to sponsor for an international child this holiday season, or sign up for Christian sponsorship.
(World Vision’s holiday catalogue is not a joke – I’ve done a lot of work in small villages – and have seen the goats! I’ve watched the village children learn to take care of them – they become like dogs or cats but love to eat the gardens!)
Sponsor A Child Through Children International – For $32 a month you can provide a child with life-changing benefits, like medical care, educational support, life skills and job training before graduation. Children International is humanitarian sponsorship – as many of the children in need cannot be sponsored by religious organizations. Children International began in the 1930’s with Christian Sponsorship, but adjusted their model over the years to make the same sponsorship benefits to children in poverty-stricken areas – of different religious identities.
(I have visited my own sponsored child abroad – many, many times through Children International and am always proud of their work.)
International Justice Mission – Support Justice & Sponsor the Rescue & Legal Defense of a Child From Modern-Day Slavery
Check out this story, about a child-slave rescued by a Missouri Mom:
The Deep Place
(I have visited a rescue center in another nation, and have so much respect for the legal work and advocacy that this group does to extend the rights of children to all nations.)
Mail In Your Donations Written Out To ‘Pinteresting Against Poverty’ – To ‘P.O. Box 26074, Overland Park, KS 66225’ – where we are collecting donations to give a local nonprofit that does good work in our village. Donations are tax-deductible if you file your return in the USA. Please notify us electronically of any returned mail.)
Click Here To Support The Needs Of An Orphanage This Holiday Season:
I have worked in villages with or near each of these nonprofits – and am proud of the work they do. Have you ever sponsored a child? Have you visited your sponsored child? Have you ever been on a mission trip? Share your stories – or your questions with us, here: