Young men in our society often get a bad rap, and sadly, there’s a reason for this. The young punks who go around committing crimes, assaulting people, bullying people, acting out in self-centered and selfish ways, and being general nuisances and burdens to society are the ones we and the news media notice.
But a recent survey from World Vision gave me hope–a lot of hope. Their survey revealed that 56% of men aged 18-34 have given a charitable gift. That’s a whopping 20% higher giving than older men aged 35 and up, and a surprising 19% higher than women of their same age range. This was the complete opposite of what most people assumed: that older people are more likely to give to charity or that today’s young people are less generous that previous generations.
Cheryl DeBruler, a Gift Catalog Specialist at World Vision, commented. “Based on what we’ve seen at World Vision, young men might be more aptly coined the ‘misunderstood generation. Young adults are a huge force in what we do – whether it’s advocacy, volunteering or fundraising. Historically they’ve even led some of our campaigns against global issues like AIDS and hunger. They’re a case study of compassion in action.”
There were some other interesting findings in the study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive. One of the most interesting: 3 in 5 adults (61 percent) think giving to charity is a good teaching tool for children, yet only about 2 in 5 parents* who donate money to charity do so in order to teach their children about generosity (43 percent). And 42 percent of people who give to charity says it makes them feel like a good person (I would have expected that number to be higher, but perhaps people were just being modest, which is one of the signs of a true giver, of course).
One great way to give this Christmas is with the World Vision Gift Catalog. Each year, the gifts they highlight get more and more impressive. I think a few years ago, I highlighted “Gertie the Goat”, which was one of the only gives you could get from World Vision. Today, they have things in their catalog that will please just about everyone on your list.
I had a chance to check out these amazing Christmas ornament set of three African animals. Appropriately enough, these particular ornaments are handcrafted in Kenya using recycled glass beads and wire.
Here’s a water buffalo:
And then an elephant:
And finally a giraffe:
Click on the image to see a close-up of how beautiful and intricate the craftsmanship is and how they sparkle under the light. With all the mass-produced junk that big corporations order to be churned out of China, there’s something very unique and special about each of these ornaments.
Something else that’s special is that the proceeds from these ornaments don’t go to the GDP of mainland China, nor do they line the pockets of giant corporations. As the tag on each ornament says, purchasing this product directly supports over 60 rehabilitated young people at a Youth Employment project based in Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
Furthermore, purchases from the gift catalog help to fund World Vision’s mission to help children and their communities around the world reach their full potential by tackling poverty and its causes.
Browsing through the catalog, there are other amazing things, such as tote bags, bracelets and necklaces, scarves, and many more. Or, you can give a symbolic gift; the person in whose name the gift was given can receive a personalized card describing the gift and its impact. The most popular such gifts are “Goat a 2 Chickens”, “Hope for Sexually Exploited Girls”, “$350 Worth of Medicines”, “5 Ducks” and “Clothing for Children”.
World Vision was one of the leading charities on the scene in the Philippines a few weeks ago, and their work there continues. Every year I’m more and more impressed by their creativity in providing great gifts to give, as well as their leadership in helping the areas around the world that need it most. Whether you’re a young man, a young woman, or just young at heart, it’s a great opportunity to take some of the blessings you’ve been giving and pass them around on this #GivingTuesday.