I’ve seen so many posts about Gift Guides in the last few weeks – I even made my own whistlestop one whilst I was shopping for a Secret Santa gift for work. Then I watched The Grinch and I realised I’d fallen into the trap. I love buying presents but I always feel a bit of guilt like I should be spending my money on something which does good. So I thought I’d do a round up of all the ‘alternative’ Christmas Gifts for the person who has everything or someone who says ‘I don’t want anything for Christmas’.
I’ve tried to include a broad cross-section of charities to donate to from refugee causes to supporting homeless causes. This type of gift makes a great change from the ‘norm’ and it also makes a great ‘last minute gift’ for friends and family.
If turning on the news fills you with guilt and sadness around the festive season then donating money to support Refugees might be a great alternative to those bath salts you were going to buy Aunt Edna. For just £5 you can pay for a hot meal for a refugee, for £10 you can provide an emergency parcel for a family with nothing, for £20 you pay to train an employee to support the cause and £50 can get a family off the streets. Alternatively you can donate straight to the Refugee Council from £30 or the British Red Cross Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal.
I always feel really strongly about homeless causes because the thought of not having a ‘home’ is heartbreaking to me. I’m always buying food and drink for homeless people I meet around London but Shelter offers support both in-person and via a helpline. Even better 79% of all the funds raised goes directly into helping the homeless with only 21% going to fundraising. Another great homeless charity based in London is Centre Point and they have lots of different gift packages including Christmas Dinner for a young homeless person.
There are a huge number of donation options for Unicef, £15 will give 100 children Polio Vaccines, £19 will save 9 families with Mosquito nets, £30 will deliver a baby, £27 will provide a family with temporary shelter and £35 will give winter clothing to a Syrian child.
If you’ve been impacted by cancer then you’ll know what an incredible job the nurses and support staff do. If you want to help fund a carer for someone in need then you can pay for a carer for an hour. OR you can pay for call center support for an hour for a little more.
For women and children escaping domestic violence Christmas can be even tougher. Many of us are lucky with our family but not everyone is. You can shop for Christmas gifts for both women and children to give them gifts they aren’t expecting this year.
Another great international charity Save the Children offers a huge range of choices from toys @ £11, birthing kits @ £12, water filters @ £38 and two goats for a community @ £78. There’s something for every budget.
This is a charity very close to my heart. They looked after one of my housemates at uni when she was diagnosed with cancer. Their staff were so sweet and supportive. If you want to support a charity that look after children and teens with cancer and offer a huge amount of support to the families.