When architect Ed Zwyghuizen designed and built a new swimming pool at his home in Zeeland, Mich., his family members hoped it would be a blessing to others as well as themselves.
Ed's three children already had taken an avid interest in the problems of the developing world by purchasing items from World Vision's Gift Catalog to provide practical assistance to poor rural families.
The catalog, which contains more than 100 unique items not found in shopping malls or department stores, enables users to honor loved ones by sending gifts in their name to children and families in need around the world. The items include everything from animals for nourishment to educational support and even an orphan and widows fund.
Christian, 10, concentrated on buying goats. Greta, 8, specialized in chickens, while Gabe, 12, set himself the ambitious goal of providing a whole farmyard of animals. Each child raised money to buy the items from the catalog by undertaking household chores. Christian even set up a roadside stand selling gourds and pumpkins to raise money for the goats.
When the swimming pool was installed, the family began to turn their attention to the problem of access to water — a major cause of poverty in many parts of the world.
The children were especially inspired by treadle pumps. A farmer using a treadle pump depresses two levers with his feet to power the pump, which extracts water from a borehole. These pumps save farmers long treks carrying buckets to and from distant water sources to irrigate their crops. They are relatively cheap, require no fuel to run, and the additional water they provide helps extend the growing season.
>> Pray that the gifts given from World Vision's Gift Catalog will bring God's love, peace, and joy to children and families in need around the world this holiday season.
>> Send a World Vision Gift Catalog eCard to inspire loved ones this Christmas.
>> Order a Gift Catalog Giving Toolbox, a fundraising kit with information on how you and your group can use World Vision’s Gift Catalog to make a difference in the lives of children and families.
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