1. I donated to a family whose 17-year-old son had to have surgery to remove metal rods from his chest. Fortunately, he is now doing well but as you can imagine, their medical bills are enormous. I don't know any more details (although I morbidly wish I did, because HOW did that happen? Of course, 17 year old boy. 'Nuff said, really.) I learned about them from our medical sharing plan, which we use instead of traditional medical insurance. Samaritan Ministries assigns a share amount to its members (the amount for a family with three or more people is $405/month) and the situation, name and address of the fellow member who needs the money to pay for their medical expenses. They ask you to send a note of encouragement with your money, which according to the letters from members, are even more cheering than the checks.
This family was not assigned to us (we had a family whose baby was in the NICU for twelve days and is now home). Samaritan publishes "Special Prayer Needs" for those whose medical situation is not publishable, usually due to preexisting conditions. Ethan's surgery took place before they became members, or they would have been eligible. I wrote: "Please tell Ethan the A____ family from Texas is praying for him and believing for his full recovery! Merry Christmas!"
This family is from Nebraska and we will most likely never meet. But now we are linked because we have prayed for them and given to a fellow believer in need. My children and I prayed for Ethan this week.
2. Much smaller and less effort: start any of your Amazon.com shopping at smile.amazon.com. You can designate a charity of your choice and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to it. Every little bit counts! (I order everything I possibly can for Christmas from Amazon, so my charity will be BANKING in January.) I designated the Beyond Blue Foundation as my recipient, though there are truly many to choose from. My son's elementary is even on there, although they don't need money as much as some nonprofits do!
3. Finally, I'm going to do a special giveaway this week on this blog! Super excited about it...please check back Monday to see it!
What good deeds have you done or are you planning to do?