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5 Charity gift alternatives: Make a difference this Christmas

Thursday, 10 December 2020

 

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Christmas, a time of giving. I find Christmas shopping quite enjoyable, most years I find myself more excited to buy gifts for loved ones than to actually receive them myself. There’s just always something nice about seeing the reaction from a thoughtful gift even if you do spend time wondering if the person will even like what you’ve bought them. Gift giving sometimes shouldn’t just be about appreciating those around you or asking for things you don’t really want or need, but sometimes paying it forward and allowing that gift to be given to someone else. At this point I will say that only do this if you have the means to yourself, this is no way a post instructing you to spend all you have on others, just to consider it as an alternative form of gifting this year. Paying it forward is something I believe in all year round, but everyone is that bit more generous at Christmas so I thought I’d share a few of the gifting options available this year. This is by no means an extensive list of charitable donations you can give to at this time of year, just a range of causes and gifting options you could choose from.




 Choose Love

ChooseLove is a worldwide charity who have raised millions to support refugees all over the world and this Christmas they are once again running the chooselove shop. In the chooselove shop there are multiple products listed in the store which represent products or services which are urgently needed in the camps. The gift you purchase is by no means physical for you, but represents a gift that is a present for the refugees receiving that service meaning you don’t purchase a physical item you can go home with. The items are sorted into three categories: ‘Emergency needs’, ‘Daily survival’ and building futures, making the site easy to navigate so you can find a gift that is almost personal to the person you are buying it on behalf of. I bought family gifts from here last year so can attest to how easy it is to buy from the online store. If you’re worried about the gift not appearing personal enough too, in the check out you can create a card in the personalised e-card creator to accompany the donation.




The Giving Tree

Once again, an item that isn’t physical but a brilliant initiate that has moved online this year is the giving tree appeal. Giving Trees are usually located in most shopping centres, however due to the circumstances of Christmas this year various giving trees have moved their appeals online to ensure the children aren’t missing out this year. I’ve found two brilliant sites doing this, the Hartlepool Giving tree and the Giving tree, both approaching the appeal slightly differently. The Hartlepool Tree are listing tags for children listing their age and sex as well as the gift they have asked for, where as the Giving tree have listed general gifting categories that you purchase on the site. Tags on the Hartlepool site are easy to buy for since all you need to do is fill in your details on the gift tag and buy the present from the recommended online retailer, filling the details of the shipping address with the one they provide you over email. Straightforward and simple to do. Another fantastic appeal supporting those in need this Christmas, highlighting that no one should miss out at Christmas especially this Christmas.

 


Refuge

Refuge are running two campaigns this year, parcels and gifts to help women and children escaping domestic abuse. Depending on budget can help you decide which you’d like to gift someone as the packages are slightly more than the gifts, though both are greatly appreciated by the charity especially since the demand for their services are even higher at the moment than they were in pre-Covid times. The parcels range from supporting the helpline or emergency accommodation to Christmas dinners and gifts for the children, giving you a range of services you can purchase on behalf of a loved one. The gifts are individual products aimed at either women or children with varying price points since most people who are escaping abuse are unable to flee with their belongings, meaning that the gift you donate can go towards helping them build a life free of fear.

 


BeautyBank

The 14 million people living in poverty in the UK often have to choose between food and personal hygiene. Not having access to these products can often be incredibly damaging to both mental and physical health, which is something that can easily be fixed since everyone has the right to be clean. BeautyBank work similarly to food banks, providing hygiene and personal care essentials to people in the UK who can’t afford them. Through Easho, BeautyBank have set up both bundles and vouchers which gives BeautyBanks the funds they need to purchase the most essential products. If you have extremely limited funds though, I recommend locating your nearest donation point on the BeautyBank site (located in most superdrugs) where you can give whatever you are able to.



 Beam


Beam is a social enterprise that crowdfunds job training for homeless people, and supports them so they can get into stable, paid work. Beam works on a collaborative model with leading homeless charities that strive to create long term solutions to homelessness since it gives the person the skills they need to support themselves. Gifting with Beam is straight forward, you simply choose the card design and pay whatever amount you wish to donate to the charity. The recipient then chooses who to support with your donation and Beam keep them updated on the person or people they chose to donate to so they can share the inspiring journey of whoever they’re supporting. What’s also great About Beam is their card designs aren’t solely limited to Christmas options so you could purchase a donation for any occasion, allowing pay it forward to not just be an exclusively Christmas thing.

I’d love to hear if you know of any other charitable gifting options for this Christmas, as I said I know this list is by no means exhaustive. Just comment below if you’ve got any other alternatives to support this festive season.

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