How Giving can Cure After Holiday Sadness


Gifts have been unwrapped, the twinkling lights are coming down, and in the days ahead we’ll all try to move forward through 2018 with the hope that no matter how good 2017 was, the year ahead will be better.

We’ll do so knowing that not everyone in the world shares that optimism.

Chances are high that even if you didn’t join me in donating to Cuso International during the “Giving Season,” (those weeks between mid-November and the end of the year when the holiday spirit has us all in a giving mood) there was some charity, family need or heartstring-pulling cause that commanded at least some of your attention over the last few months.

The Giving Cure | Good News

The good news is that no matter what you gave – time, money or shared awareness through social media – it was appreciated. Somewhere, because of you, a little more joy is promised to someone.

And even better news? Giving doesn’t have to be a once a year thing. The season is over but that doesn’t have to mean we return to our less than charitable ways.

What if we kept the giving going?

The Giving Cure | A Person-to-Person Effort

If we’re going to keep giving, let’s do it where we can make an impact.

One of the reasons that I believe in Cuso International’s Cuso CAN Fund in Ethiopia is that the volunteers who have been there talk with such passion about the good being done with those donations on the ground.

People like Jennica Rawstron, the Canadian mid-wife from Vancouver I introduced you to in November  who helped train her Ethiopian hospital counterparts by sharing practice information that will help them better care for and assist women in labour. Her efforts will mean that complicated births in the country have a better shot at success.

Giving to Charity in Ethiopia - Cuso International

Jennica Rawstron speaks with medical workers in Ethiopia

Or Suzanne Ferrier who recently spoke with the CBC about her time as a Research and Development Advisor in Bale Robe, Ethiopia. Ferrier highlighted the mutual learning that takes place once you’re on the ground, especially when those of us who are so lucky to have access to the basic medical care necessities realize that others can’t take that for granted: Things like power.

Giving on the ground in Ethiopia - Cuso International mission.

Suzanne Ferrier on the ground in Ethiopia as part of her Cuso International mission.

“When I was in Bale Robe we lost power every single day,” Ferrier told the CBC, noting that sometimes they were without power for a week at a time.

Imagine the panic that would follow if that happened at your hospital? Ferrier’s research work in Ethiopia will help the medical teams better communicate with parents about the warning signs in infants after birth that could help reduce the infant and mother mortality rate. Currently, it can be as much as 55 times higher than here in Canada.

The Giving Cure | Mother to Mother

Another reason that I believe in the program is because I recognize the look in this woman’s eyes.

Charitable Giving Helps Mothers and Babies in Ethiopia Charitable Giving helps Mothers and Babies  I’ve given a doctor or nurse that look, and I bet many of you have too. It’s the look of overwhelming gratitude moments after you’ve been incredibly afraid. It’s the look you give when you are out of words – a mix of relief and joy. It’s a person to person connection that goes beyond country or income level. If Cuso International’s Cuso CAN Fund project can elicit that look, I want to be a part of it.

Don’t you?

The Giving Cure | How to help

I wish that when the holidays were over, we could tuck away the problems for another year. I wish that we could always provide requests alongside feel good carols or wrapped with pretty bows. But we can’t wait for that. Babies continue to need our help and attention. Mothers continue to die at alarming rates without it.

Your help – and mine –  is still very much needed.

Why not include a pledge to continue the giving in your 2018 resolutions?

Pledge a one-time gift  or opt to give monthly, knowing that every dollar pledged to Cuso International has an impact that is ten times its value. And if you want to learn more about how you can use your social media savvy or blog writing skills to help spread the word, just ask.

Sure, the Giving Season is behind us, but I can promise you that the good you’re doing feels just as good during the rest of the year.

This post was sponsored in part by Cuso International. As always, the opinions are my own.