Advent of Gratitude: Lethbridge invention offers unique way to donate over the holidays

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WATCH ABOVE: Lethbridge residents are hoping a reverse advent calendar will encourage people not to take the little things for granted and donate during the holidays. Malika Karim reports – Dec 1, 2017

The Christmas countdown has started and with that, Lethbridge residents are looking for ways they can give back.

An Advent of Gratitude” is a made-in-Lethbridge way of combining two holiday traditions. The idea is to tally up the things you may take for granted and assign them a dollar value each day. For example, two dollars for sleeping in a warm bed, or 50 cents per water faucet in your home.

Once the 24 days are up, you donate the money to a charity of your choice.

The advent calendar has spread far outside of Lethbridge, already reaching more than a million people on Facebook.

“We got a message a week ago or so from someone in South Africa asking for a document file of it, to change currency,” says co-inventor Ruth Bergen Braun.

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“We got a message from someone in Sweden saying the same thing and I just randomly clicked on people who liked and shared it and they are from all over.”

Local Lethbridge charity “Streets Alive Mission” was delighted to find out Braun wanted to donate her funds to the mission.

“It’s amazing! It’s absolutely amazing that inside a culture that usually thinks Christmas is about taking, we have this individual that wants to give,” founder and director Julie Kissick said.

Following the huge social media buzz, “Advent of Gratitude” creators are excited to see just how big an impact it could have.

“If it can inspire people to give, and also in the meantime to really take notice to not take the little things in life for granted, I think it’s a huge success,” co-founder Julie Klok said.