Christmas is coming and most of us have started buying presents for friends and family. But what do you get for the person who has everything? We all know someone who is really difficult to buy for, or maybe they just don't need anything else. Perhaps you want to give a gift that is not only quirky and different, but it will make a different to someone's life? Well, it's always worth looking at charity websites for gift ideas with a difference.
The £15.00 it cost us for the goat will have benefitted a whole community overseas. The Present Aid site explains it like this: "A goat is a great gift because it produces milk for families to drink, and provides income when sold. In Burundi, 'goat banks' provide farmers with an opportunity to invest in the future of their community. A group of farmers are given three goats, two female and one male. Each member of the goat bank agree to provide food and shelter for their animal, and that they will pass on one of the kids from the first 'next generation' to the next member of the group. This revolving fund ensures that a whole community benefits from one goat." Last year my colleagues decided not to send Christmas cards to each other, but to donate the money we would have otherwise spent on a charitable gift that would make a difference. Amongst the things we 'bought' was a goat and a few ducks from the Present Aid website. As a long-time supporter of the NSPCC I was pleased to receive an email from them recently asking if I would consider mentioning their Christmas ideas. One of the gifts they are currently promoting is a brilliant idea: a letter from the great man himself, Father Christmas: "The NSPCC’s Letter from Santa fundraising initiative gives parents, grandparents and anyone else the chance to nominate someone special to receive a magical letter from Santa for a suggested donation of £5. The letter is personalised with the child’s name and age and is sure to confirm that Santa will be making his usual stop in the child’s home town to wish everyone a merry Christmas. The letter is written in a hand script font and is beautifully illustrated on quality colourful paper. The envelope shows that it’s been safely delivered through ‘express Rudolph Mail’. "
So not only did we not have to worry about recycling all of the unecessary Christmas cards we send to people we will see over the Christmas holidays, but we knew our money had been spent wisely, and we're planning to do the same again this year.
Not only that, but when you get to a couple of days before Christmas and you realise you've forgotten to post a card to cousin Hilda in Australia why not send her an NSPCC eCard instead? Or perhaps you just want to make a donation?