Gift justice this Christmas
The Salvation Army Western Territory launched a new store—sajustice.us—to turn a purchase into an act for good.
“In a world where consuming has defined us and has been the source of so much suffering on the planet—we don’t want to get you down but global poverty is linked with our insatiable need to have more stuff—we believe God wants to redeem even the way we buy things,” said Major Danielle Strickland, territorial social justice secretary. “What if our consuming practices could be redeemed as a weapon against poverty?”
American adults plan to spend $830 on Christmas gifts this year, on average, up from the $720 recorded a year ago, according to a November Gallup poll.
“What if we spent our money in new ways, ways that actually changed the way people lived for the better?” Strickland asked. “What if instead of ordering more cheap products to collect, that forced little kids into bonded labor, we actually bought them a way to go to school? What if we were able to tell little girls who are groomed from childhood to become sex slaves that our extra gift money would be given to her instead to offer her a chance at a different life?
“What if our gifts could keep on giving after the empty packages and the leftovers from turkey dinner or birthday cakes are done and dusted…well, that would be like heaven coming to earth,” Strickland said. “It’s exactly what Jesus taught his disciples to pray, and it would look a lot like the vision God gave to our founders 150 years ago…using our extravagant gift giving for God’s goodness on the earth.”
The “shopping” process is easy. First, pick as many gifts as you’d like using the description of each location and gift in the online catalogue. Every gift is linked to a project, place and people that the territory is in partnership with.
“We believe that working together is our best chance at changing the world,” Strickland said. “Far from simply being ‘people in need’ our partners are rich in many other ways. We know they will use this investment as a way to advance the work of God in a needy world.”
Next, check out when you are ready using a credit card to complete your purchase. “In a world where time is a valuable resource, our hope is that we can save you some,” Strickland said. “Why not spend the extra time you saved investing in relationships that matter to you? We think it’s just as important to bring transformation to our local situations and invite you to keep the good news flowing.”
Finally, you will receive a gift certificate that you can give to your intended recipient.
“In our experience it makes for a wonderful opportunity to talk about things that matter, opening an invitation for others to join in this amazing adventure of bringing redemption to the whole world,” Strickland said. “Use these certificates as an opportunity to give a gift to the person who has everything. Seriously, we’ve found it true that some people are so poor, all they have is money.”
Join The Salvation Army in spreading a new kind of joy at gift giving times in your life, praying that The Salvation Army, inspired by God’s vision of an earth redeemed would live out its mission with joy.