GIVE SOMETHING DIFFERENT
We all know at least one person (and probably more than one) who is difficult – or even impossible – to buy for at Christmas. No matter what ideas we come up with, the gift just isn’t right. They either have it already, it wouldn’t really work for them, or you’re just not convinced they really would like it. So, you’re stuck with a dilemma: what to buy the person who has everything, needs nothing, and can’t think of a single useful answer when you ask them what they want?
Maybe the answer this year is not to buy them anything. Or at least, not anything that’s actually for them.
Maybe the answer this year is to think about the true spirit of Christmas, the season of goodwill, and spend our money on a gift for someone who really, truly needs it.
Maybe the answer this year is to buy the gift of charity.
Not only does a gift like this give something back to the charity itself, but it is also something for your friends and family to enjoy, to give them an insight into a cause that is close to your heart, and in some cases it is something that will actually help someone a lot further away from home in a much more literal way. It’s not about the amount of money you give to charity; it’s about the thought that goes into it, and the amazing results that are able to happen because you have.
And if you are the person who, whenever they are asked what they want for Christmas, always shrugs and says that you don’t want anything because you don’t need anything, leaving those who are trying to find something perfect for you to unwrap shaking their heads and wondering what to do next, why not change your answer? Why not ask for a charity gift this Christmas? It is, after all, the season of goodwill.
Take a look at these fantastic charities and their alternative ways to give at the most wonderful time of the year.
With Unicef there are dozens of different charity gifts you can choose from, and each one, from the bicycle that means a little girl can now get to school, to the bowl of porridge given to a starving child, makes a huge impact on the lives of children. Once you have chosen your gift, you can create a personalised card or e-greeting to give to the recipient so that they know exactly what you’ve bought, and who it’s helping. There is even a ‘most needed’ section, making your decision that much easier.
Emergency shelter kit for a family: £25
Measles vaccines for 50 children: £25
Life-saving milk for malnourished children: £15
5,000 water purification tablets: £18
Helping the homeless is something that Centrepoint has been doing for decades. They work on housing, education, support, health, and moving on once it is time to leave the hostel and make a fresh start. This is how those who are young and homeless – those who are just like our own children but for a quirk of fate or loss of family or one poor decision – can find hope once more.
Centrepoint provides a safe place to live for more than 7,800 young people, aged 16-25, every year in London and the North East of England, but they need donations and help to do even more.
Christmas dinner: £10
Health check: £20
A starter box: £40
A new baby box: £50
Animals are family for many people, so buying a charity gift from the RSPCA could be exactly what to get the animal lover in your life. The RSPCA is the oldest animal welfare charity in the world, but despite its high profile, it’s not well funded. It needs as much help as it can get to give assistance to animals who don’t have a voice.
Nurse a dog back to health: £25
Help stamp out badger cruelty: £15
Break up a dogfighting ring: £15
Animal rescue kit: £100
RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute)
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea, providing a 24-hour emergency lifeboat service in all weathers around the coast of the UK and Ireland. It was started back in 1824 by Sir William Hillary who was devastated by the news of shipwrecks that seemed to be reported every single day, and the destruction he could see from his home on the Isle of Man. Originally called the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, his charity was later renamed the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Since then, the RNLI has saved thousands of lives.
Crew sea boots: £45
Fuel a lifeboat with 41 litres: £20
Teach children across the world to swim: £29
Crew food package: £20
Save The Children
Save the Children works in 120 countries across the world, saving young lives, fighting for children’s lives, and helping them fulfil their potential. It’s a hard task – some might say impossible – and yet selfless people are out there every day doing these things to help. And you can help too.
Food basket: £55
Winter clothes for a child: £11
A place in school for a child: £158
Birth kit for a midwife: £12