I learned about a movement called "Advent Conspiracy" to encourage us all to cease the endless shopping and giving gifts to each other that we really don't need, and to take that money to give to the poor, for things such as waterwells for clean drinking water.
Here is the link: http://www.adventconspiracy.org/ It is quite an amazing thought that the United States spends 45o billion each year for Christmas shopping. How often are those gifts returned, or not needed, etc. The idea is to give to each other with gifts of relationships, of time spent together, of doing specific things for each other, without spending all the money, but then taking that money to do things like help to purchase a water well in a third world country, where clean drinking water would be a life changing act for many people. The cost of water wells would be about 10 billion, to give those who need clean drinking water, that possibility.
Another friend went to Skid row today in downtown LA to deliver some teen clothes that they had a real need for. She then delivered supplies to the Humane Society and realized that dogs are treated better than human beings. The sight of a man laying in the street, and the numbers of homeless who were all over was quite overwhelming.
It reminds me of my time in Central America. It was a life changing experience to see the poverty there, and then to return home and see our abundance. The 25 choices of toothpaste, breads, cereals, fruit/vegies, meats, pastas, etc. etc. etc. When I first came home, I actually stood at the opening of the grocery store and was so overwhelmed I couldn't go inside. I was there over 25 years ago now, and it still effects me. When it stops having an effect on the choices I make, the compassion I feel, the memories I hold, I will return to some third world country, to give from my own abundance.
And yes, we have at least 10 different varieties of healthy dogfood, pads for them to sleep on, toys to play with, etc. etc. etc. We do treat our dogs better than our people.