The Other Gift Guide: 10 Charity Presents for Christmas 2017
Christmas is coming closer with every day now, the shops are filling up on chocolate Santas, cookies, decorations for our homes and presents for our loved ones. But each year around this time, I am starting to ask myself a very important question. Why Christmas.
I've stopped believing in anything religious years ago and since then, started somewhat of a love-hate-relationship with the favourite holiday around the world. I still truly love the idea of Christmas, the coming together of family and friends, celebrating ourself, being aware of what we have and how beautiful all of our lives are.
But while I was growing up, a lot of negative thoughts slowly came up in me and the biggest of all: What are people doing this day without a family? What are those doing that can't afford a beautiful Christmas meal, the ones that maybe lost everything to a natural disaster or even the ones who never had much?
Since then, I started writing those Charity Christmas Posts. I always saw those beautifully curated articles on other blogs and magazines, saying, get this for your loved ones, buy here, spend money there. And it made me sad, sad to realise we live in a society where we don't doubt buying a T-Shirt for 150 bucks but wouldn't give a hungry a few coins so they can enjoy a meal or tea.
I am still a totally commercial chick, don't get me wrong, I am that person who is willing to spend 150 bucks on a stupid T-Shirt that probably wasn't even produced ethically correctly.
But still, I do give myself a monthly budget I HAVE to spend on people living in the streets. I will never not ask them if they need anything from a close supermarket when I am short on cash and have the time pop into the store for a quick shop and even if not, I will always try to give them at least a warm smile in those cold days.
We live in such a hectic world, we are all so busy, that we often forget about the real things in life, forget that there are people with real problems, who are not thinking about where to get the perfect party dress from, no they are probably thinking on where they can sleep tonight, if they can afford a hostel and how they will find a space to be safe from the harsh weather conditions we are experiencing right now.
My biggest achievement in Life for myself is not that I managed to get into college in London all on my own or this blog, no, is that I spend one and a half months building up a refugee-home in Vienna during one of the biggest crisis we ever experienced. I am proud to have met so many wonderful souls, just looking for a safe place to stay for themselves and their family, proud to be able to take back on my life and being fully committed into the wellbeing of someone else.
Anyway, I kind of had to write that from my soul right now. I did collect my favourite Charity Presents for your beloved ones below.
I tried to do a bit of a mixture of British and Austrian charity organisations, jewellery companies that help others and ethically good produced beauty products. There is truly something for everyone in here, so, please, if possible, think about maybe giving away a pig for a family in need, lunch for a school-kid that otherwise would be hungry or maybe just some seeds for a poor family living in a totally different World. If you are ever in doubt what to get your parents, grandparents, uncles, sisters or friends, I am sure they will appreciate the thought of getting them something that will mean the world for another human being.
I know it’s a lot to ask for, but if there is any chance you are willing to help, I’d be forever grateful and maybe, the person you are gifting too, will be too.
None of the pictures in this post are from me, they are all sourced by either the charity sites itself or from people that posted about them. The other images, the homeless on the streets decorated with fairy lights, are from one of my favourite holiday campaigns so far, published by ADOT.COM in 2014. It is here, to make us more aware of people sleeping rough through the holiday season, the cold months of the year, and asks one simple question:
What will it take for you to see them?
One of my favourite charity ideas for London, here you can reserve a place for one person in need at their Christmas dinner, where they not only offer hot food, but also advice, healthcare screenings, learning workshops and most importantly, someone to listen. It’s a beautiful curated package for every person in need and, what I think is extra special, is not just for one day, not, it is for NINE days.
With your donation here, someone could be able to have a beautiful meal every day for over a week straight, for just £26.08.
Givescent was found by two beautiful souls, after a trip to Italy. They not only wanted to create a new scent full of amazing aromas, also with every bottle they are selling they support the Women for Women International organisation, helping women all over the world to get the medical advice they need, help them to find jobs and educate them on their rights.
One of my personal biggest surprises when researching possible charity gifts for you guys, was when I found that Vaseline is working together with Direct Relied to provide dermatological care all over the world where it’s most needed.
The best part here is, that they have a new and engaging way on how you can choose how much and what you’d like to donate. On their website, you have to option to build your own Relief Kit, where you can drag and drop products like, Emergency Blankets, Soap, Plasters or Blood Pressure Cuffs into your little Box, which you can that purchase and send to places they are needed most. And with every one of those little boxes, Vaseline sponsors one pack of their own renowned Vaseline itself!
#4: SOAP CO
Another truly beautiful brand I found, is Soap & Co. Not only are they a fully sustainable and earth-friendly beauty company, producing products like Lotions, Exfoliating Soap Pebbles and well, soaps itself, no, each of their products is produced by blind people in London, who otherwise wouldn’t find work.
For me this is one of those pioneer projects, everyone should know about and help, because that’s the way we should treat any kind of disabled human being, give them a chance at something they will succeed.
Beside that, they have beautiful gift packages, who are insanely cute packaged and ready to give immediately.
Schenken mit Sinn probably only really makes sense for my Austrian & German Followers, since it’s based there. It’s the present shop of Caritas, the biggest charity organisation in Austria and everything you can buy in their store will help someone else. You can choose from pigs for families in Africa, seeds, baby care packages or lunches for school kids around the world. As treat, you get a beautiful little card, explaining exactly where your money is going and how it’s gonna help.
This is perfect for everyone you don’t exactly know what to get for example their grandparents, aunts and uncles or cousins.
Oxfam is the equivalent to Schenken mit Sinn in the UK, where very similar, you can go and shop to change another person's life for the better this Christmas. They are called the Unwrapped Gifts, where you will get not something physical, but a beautiful curated card explaining your loved one exactly where their Christmas Gift is helping. You can choose between education for kids, medical help for refugee camps, grow vegetables or my personal favourite, a goat couple, giving a family milk and cheese to sell.
Coming to one of my personal heroes I found while researching, the Giving Keys Jewellery Brand form Los Angeles. They are another one of those companies, trying to change the world to a better place and in my eye, they are 100% succeeding. Every single one of their beautiful necklaces, bracelets or earrings, is made by a person transitioning out of homelessness. They make new jobs, teach every single person important knowledge in money management and other things someone might need trying to get out of the streets. People are treated to food and beverages and the brand also helps everyone to not only set their personal goals but also on the way to achieve them.
Beside that, I think that their design is just undoubtfully one of the best ones I’ve seen so far. No one would ever think it’s for charity because it just looks perfect.
Let’s stay with Charity Jewellery, but a different cause this time. Purpose Jewellery’s beautiful item are all created by women reduced from human trafficking, by buying one of their products, you provide freedom, dignity and hope to so many poor souls. The young women are getting taught every part of the business, to gain important skills they will need in their future careers.
A classic under the charity organisations, where you can choose from many different places to send an important donation too. Syria, West Africa, Yemen and Iraq are some of them.
It’s incredibly easy to donate, and even though if you’re not getting a pretty card or anything else out of it, just the thought that £30 alone would be enough to buy a food parcel for a whole family for a month, is extremely satisfying in my eyes.
Go Fund Me doesn’t seem like the traditional place for charity, but I recently became a bit addicted to it and wanted to share it here. I love the idea that there is real human being out there, just simply asking for a little help out of the comfort of your living room. There are projects to build schools, water fountains, pay medical bills for children, resume wildlife animals or just simply families that need a little help for a hard time.
Her I can only encourage you to trust into people, look out for stories that touch you personally the most, and maybe even connect with some of them through social media.