Gary Dowd  

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What Are You Giving This Year?

What Are You Giving This Year?

In the photograph – historic St. Joseph’s Church, Hana Coast, Maui. I love this picture. I had about 5 minutes between rainstorms to capture a few images. The church sits on a windswept bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean; a lonely, almost-forgotten relic on an isolated stretch of Maui’s north shore. Maybe it was the moment that the light came through the clouds, maybe it was the setting or just the experience of being there – I don’t know – but this image inspires me. I know God doesn’t dwell in buildings, but old churches like this make me reflect on my faith – the core reason why I do what I do. Not trying to sound cliche’ here, but the more I give, the more I receive.

Probably one of my favorite assignments this past year (as well as one of the most challenging with weather and remote location logistics) was the annual gift catalog shoot for World Vision Canada, organized through their marketing agency, Russ Reid of Pasadena, CA. These resource trips are always fraught with challenges – both physical and mental – long days, uncooperative weather (and animals :-), logistics, just to name a few.
I love being in the field and love meeting the children and families we visit during these trips. But of the greatest satisfaction for me personally comes long after the aches and pains of air travel and driving for hours on unpaved roads are forgotten.  To know that donors respond generously to the gift catalog – despite the difficult economic times – means that World Vision Canada is going to be able to help alleviate the suffering of more needy children this year. The feelings I have knowing that I had an opportunity to play a small roll in that success are immeasurable.
But the sad truth is that more children worldwide are still suffering terribly. It may be hard to imagine from our perspective of overabundance, but simple and inexpensive gifts such as clean water, a farm animal, some seeds and tools can make a significantly brighter future for a struggling family. This holiday season, why not give a gift that really matters? Visit the World Vision Canada gift catalog website and choose a gift that will make a huge difference for a family in need – perhaps even save a life.

Whether you are a person of faith or not, I hope that the spirit of generosity during the holiday season will inspire you to give as well. It’s a good feeling.

Have a Blessed Holiday Season!