Christmas is almost here and, no doubt, you have already been scouring the shops in search of a good deal on the perfect presents for your friends and family. It is important to not find ourselves lost in the over-commercialisation that the festive period has ultimately become and remember what the real meaning of Christmas is.
It is this time of year when those in need are most vulnerable – not just because of the cold weather (although that is certainly a key factor), but because those without anyone are at their loneliest when everyone else is with their family. Christmas is a time for giving and that shouldn’t be limited to socks. In fact, sometimes the best thing that you can possibly hope to give is your time.
Here are three charitable gifts that you can give this Christmas that will help those in need during the holidays.
Food and water are the necessities of life, however, millions of people around the world are deprived of this basic human right. You may be surprised to learn that this is not exclusively a third world problem, with many living in countries boasting some of the richest economies in the world also living in poverty.
Homeless shelters that offer a warm meal and somewhere safe to sleep do a lot, but there is only so much that they can do with limited resources. This Christmas, why not give an afternoon to helping out in the kitchen of a homeless shelter or donate food that would probably otherwise go to waste? Alternatively, if you have your sights set on helping some of the billion-plus living in poverty in third world countries, why not help to feed the widows and orphans that have lost a parent?
Shop Through Amazon Smile
You have purchased through Amazon, right? Almost everyone has, but was you aware that you can shop through the online retailer and help raise money for a charity of your choice? No? Again, you are not alone.
Rather than heading to the usual Amazon website, type in smile.amazon.com and 0.5% of the net purchase price of anything you buy online will be donated to a charity of your choice. It makes for a quick and easy way to donate to a cause close to your heart, as well as ensuring you need not worry about fighting your way through a crowd of Christmas shoppers all vying for this year’s must-haves. A true win-win!
Buy from a Charity Shop
It is likely that you read the above sub-heading and audibly gasped, but hear us out on this one because, despite what you might think, there is some quality to be found in your local charity shop. Many people donate items they no longer want and need, but they will only ever be put out on the shop floor if they are deemed good enough to sell. As well as various clothing items, there are some fantastic homeware gifts, toys and accessories that can be found.
With enough prowess, you can potentially find a solid stocking filler, with the proceeds going to charity. Numerous hidden gems are found at charity shops and, if you are prepared to do some digging, you can grab yourself a bargain. You might even find something for yourself!
So why not think outside of the box this Christmas? We are reminded every day to consider what and where we are buying from, and if we can get the Christmas shopping done in a way that those in need can benefit from it, what’s not to like?