[Video] The 'new' sustainable gift

Yesterday, we introduced you to Mary, a woman who tragically lost everything in a flood. Goats from the World Vision Gift Catalog were a vital part of her regaining hope and stability in her life.

Kris Allen, host of the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas Tour, had the chance to visit Mary's village and farm. Watch and see what he learned about the life-changing impact these goats have had on Mary and her family.

The most humbling thing about it all...

Kris Allen, host of the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas tour, has been traveling with World Vision across Kenya for over a week now. During this time, he's had the chance to meet amazing people, participate in new experiences, and go places he had never been before.

Today, Kris shares what he has been thinking throughout his experience.

Chickens: Small gift, big impact

Mary knows the True Spirit of Christmas personally -- because she has experienced a life-changing gift for herself. World Vision provided Mary with nine chickens as a source of income and nutrition.

Kris Allen, host of World Vision's 2012 True Spirit of Christmas Tour, had the chance to meet Mary and her seven children -- and hear how these chickens from the World Vision Gift Catalog have changed their lives for the better.

Child sponsorship opens the door to a better future

Josh Cox, world-class runner and America's record-holder for the 50K, meets his sponsored child, Rodgers, as part of this year's True Spirit of Christmas Tour. Josh shares how sponsorship has changed Rodgers' life, family, and community -- and his own life.

The votes are in....

We asked if you would rather see Kris Allen attempt to make a bracelet with the artisans at Zakale creations or learn a dance from his new friends in Kenya. You voted -- now watch the video to find out the result!

World AIDS day: Why do headstones outnumber headlines?

World AIDS Day is December 1. Dean Owen, senior adviser for communications at World Vision International, shares his experience with how AIDS has affected a community in South Africa -- and how this pandemic has shaped humanity since its discovery in the 1980s.

[Video] An American Idol in Nairobi

In Nairobi, Kenya, on the first day of this year's True Spirit of Christmas tour, host Kris Allen met John Mucheru, founder of Zakale Creations.

John has founded a business that gives at-risk youth a chance to learn job skills, earn money, and most importantly, have the opportunity to live a better life.

Watch this video to see how Kris spent the day with John and some of the people whose lives have been impacted by Zakale Creations.

Giving new purpose to youth amid desperate need

American Idol's Kris Allen, host of this year's True Spirit of Christmas tour, writes about his experiences on his first day in Nairobi, Kenya, as he travels with World Vision to see how gifts donated through our Gift Catalog help change the lives of children and families in need.

Zakale: a new creation

Zakale is the Swahili word for what has been thrown away being made new again.

John Mucheru is a living example of this word. As a young man, John says he engaged in activities that were not pleasing to God. After turning his life over to the Lord, however, he discovered that he possessed a gift in art and handcrafts.

Kris Allen, meet Kenya

"Welp, we're in Nairobi now, and I am stoked about it." -Kris Allen

Kris and the World Vision team are on the ground in Narobi, Kenya.  In today's video update, Kris shares what he is thinking and feeling so far, and what you can expect from the True Spirit of Christmas tour in the coming weeks.

A more meaningful Cyber Monday

Laura Tremaine -- or Hollywood Housewife, as her readers know her -- traveled to Sri Lanka with the World Vision Bloggers this past August. Laura has seen for herself how lives can be transformed through the work of World Vision -- and today, Laura shares the top gifts on her list for Cyber Monday.

Black Friday: Gifts that give back

Forever long shopping lines. Sleep starved customers arguing over the last item in stock. People losing their lives in pursuit of the perfect flat screen tv.

Black Friday is a day that seems to bring out the worst in people. The terrible irony is that our ruthless desire to acquire comes after a day spent giving thanks. We are grateful, and then shop survival of the fittest style (hunger games anyone?).

Make this year's Black Friday different- put some giving back into gift shopping. Instead of fighting crowds for Black Friday sales, check out this list of gifts ideas. You'll be able to find something for everyone on your list, while helping others.