12 Dollars of Christmas: IDEAS

This post is part of the 12 Dollars of Christmas series I’m doing, sharing with you about different charities and people who are making a difference around the world and asking you to join me in giving $1 dollar (or more) to each of them.

I’ve known Vern and Shelley since I was about 7 years old. They have been dear family friends and I have learned so much from them throughout the years. They are now working with an organization called IDEAS and I’d like to tell you a little bit more about this wonderful non-profit and what they are doing to improve the lives of many around the world.

IDEAS stands for International Development and Educational Associates and their goal is to meet the needs of the helpless and hopeless around the world through holistic project development. They take time to meet with and discover needs in partnership with the local community and then develop projects with a focus on educational needs, medical needs, community development, agriculture and social entrepreneurship. Together with their partners they have managed “34 sustainable projects across 14 countries in North Africa and Asia.” They have educated over 12,000 students, trained over 300 teachers, established 6 medical clinics, developed 8 vocational training centers, opened 12 schools, built 21 new village homes, created 2 village water systems and planted 30,000 trees. These are no minor accomplishments. But, IDEAS doesn’t stand out to me just because of how much I believe in holistic projects or just because of these numbers, IDEAS stands out to me because I know, trust and love Vern and Shelley and they are behind this movement and if they are behind it then I trust that it is a work worth getting behind.

I recently got to read a little bit in Vern and Shelley’s Christmas letter about their most recent trip to India and the work they did there. They went with six other friends and spent time traveling to schools, villages and medical clinics bringing what help and hope they could to people who are sick, hurting and impoverished. It was incredible moving to hear about this work they and others are doing to help the “least of these”.

If you’d like to learn more about IDEAS please check out their web site, www.ideasworld.org.

As part of my $12 dollars of Christmas campaign I also encourage you to join me in sending $1 (or more) to help support them and further the work they are doing. You can do this by going to the donate page on their web site.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman