As I get older, the lists of things I “want” cannot be bought. Something Neal and I have always done around our birthdays, holidays and especially Christmas is think of ways we can invest the money we would have otherwise spent on another “gift” we don’t really need and put that toward someone deeply in need and could really benefit more from those dollars. We have sponsored a sweet boy, Ousseini for three years through World Vision and even though those dollars are going to helping him and his community thrive, access better health and education, we feel like we’ve been blessed the most from it. It’s truly the best feeling knowing that we can pour into someone else’s life, even if it’s across the world.

Thinking of new and creative ways to give back this year, we were so intrigued by the World Vision Gift Catalogue. The reason being, we never knew we could gift animals that could change the lives of the communities and families that are less fortunate than we are. One of the most intriguing creatures you can gift is an ALPACA! Yes. Alpacas I have learned can change lives. Not only are they a cute little face, they can provide up to 4 kg of wool each year (over their 15-20 year lifespan). This means so many things for the families. It means the wool can come in handy for so many of their own uses (staying warm with clothes, blankets etc.) and it also means a stream of revenue (they can sell their goods in the markets) and are trained with business skills.

When World Vision Canada approached us to bring this gift catalogue to life and we could spend a day with two adorable alpacas, Neal and I literally squealed (well, I did most of the squealing) and jumped at the opportunity. As a huge animal lover myself, alpacas are one of the animals I gravitated to the most (how can you resist?) and we were so thrilled to create a fun video and story about how incredibly life-changing a gift like an alpaca can be for a family. This season is all about believing in the hope of what’s to come, and giving the things that a store just can’t. You see for us, it’s not about just giving monetarily – it’s about giving people hope, knowing they are loved and seen and investing in someone’s future is a sign to them that they matter. That’s what we’re giving to people when we choose to invest and donate in ways that will bless these families for years to come.

In honour of those of you who support my channels and give me the platform I am grateful to have, we are donating an alpaca in YOUR name (yes each and every one of you) to a family this season through World Vision’s Gift Catalogue.

Huge thanks to the YouTube space studios in Toronto, World Vision Canada and Lionel’s Farms for bringing this all together!