I finished reading "The Power of Half" the other day. It was a very good book about a family that decided to sell their HUGE home and downsize to a smaller home. They contributed half of the profit from the sale to help villages in Ghana. I know that this family of four moved into a "smaller" home that is still larger than my home, which houses seven people. But, the principle is still a good one: If everyone gave half of what they had, to help those who have nothing, the world would be a better place.
We (the girls and I) were discussing this book one morning and then the conversation moved on to which animals would be going to the auction in a couple of weeks. And then it occurred to us: Our goats this year are named for cheeses from various countries, many of them poor countries. For example, Abby has a buckling named Ayib for cheese from Ethiopia. We decided that we will donate half of whatever the selling price is for that goat, to an aid organization in whatever country they were named for. It will be merely a drop in the bucket of what is needed, but it is still a drop.
The other book I have been reading is "Organized Simplicity". This book is, by far, the best organizing/simplicity movement book I have ever read. Not only is it well laid out, includes worksheets, and great ideas about organization, it also shows you the "why" of it all. While the "motivational" parts can get a little lengthy, with some of it being stuff I already knew, the author does a great job of packaging it all up. The desire to improve your home environment is rooted in facts, not emotion. And we all know that emotions simply won't carry us through the day-to-day tedium of organizing and culling to create order, and then maintaining that order.
The section on "finding your home's purpose" was just what we needed. As a family we were able to really lay out what our goals were and decide if what we were doing was moving us toward or away from those goals. It is so much easier to make decisions about things by checking if they match up with your purpose.
I borrowed this book from my library, but I plan on purchasing it soon.