The end of this week will see the Christmas sales madness starting in earnest as ‘Black Friday’ sales pop up everywhere. However it is possible to do your Christmas shopping and do your bit for charity too. Our round-up editors are a savvy bunch, so we asked them for their recommendations of gifts that give back, and here’s what they said.
1. Shoes that make someone else’s feet feel good
BritMums co-founder and blogger at A Modern Mother, Susanna wanted to share her love for TOMS. TOMS shoes are colourful and stylish and she wears them to BritMums Live each year! For each pair you buy, another goes to a child who needs a pair of shoes. What a great way to share a love of shoes!
2. Charities and accessories that help girls and women
BritMums co-founder and blogger at Jenography, Jen had two suggestions for gifts that give back:
Bloom & Give sells scarves, bags, napkins and gift cards to support education for Indian girls and FASHIONABLE helps women in Ethopia out of prostitution and into weaving and paid work through sales of their scarves, beautiful jewellery, purses and handbags.
3. A vaccine supply kit for UNICEF workers
John from Dad Blog UK has a unique idea for the person who doesn’t like a fuss or is happy to forgo a present themselves at Christmas. The UNICEF health worker vaccine kit costs under £20, and features 10 polio and 20 measles vaccines in a portable carry-kit for use in the developing world. This is a health gift for those who need it most, for just £17.50 you can help those who help others in the developing world.
4. Here’s how to buy a cow
Michelle at Mummy From The Heart supports an amazing charity called Heifer International who work to end poverty and hunger. Their most well known gift is give a cow (or fund a share in a cow) but they have loads of other gift ideas to empower women and meet people’s basic needs. Michelle also knows a charitable shop called To The Market and she spent some time with the owner last year. To The Market was set up by an amazing young woman called young woman called Jane Mosbacher Morris who created an online outlet (and pop-up shops too) for survivors of abuse, war, disease and many other plights. Their aim is to empower these people and give them a voice. This company is US based but Michelle says their postage costs are reasonable and a gift like this shoulder shopper bag would make a great gift ‘for her’!
5. Making children’s wishes come true
Vicky from Single Mother Ahoy! suggested a good cause that supports children and families. Lucy’s Days Out is a charity that takes poorly children to Lapland to visit Santa, to see their favourite football team play, to theme parks or to the beach. Lucy Page died from a brain tumour in September 2010, aged just 10. When she found out her cancer was untreatable, she asked her family to set up a charity in her memory. She wanted families living with serious illnesses to enjoy special outings together, and that’s what Lucy’s Days Out does. They primarily support families living in the south of England with seriously ill children, and provide everything needed for a perfect day out – just as Lucy wanted. You can help raise money for this good cause by purchasing one of these heart decorations and £2.50 from each sale goes to Lucy’s Days Out.
6. A letter from Santa
Claire from Life Love and Dirty Dishes wants to tell you about letters from Santa that help protect vulnerable children. Do you normally order a letter from the big man in red for your children? It all adds to the magic of Christmas and there are so many companies offering this service, but you can get a personalised letter from the NSPCC for a £5 donation and help support the essential work that they do.
7. The gift of the great outdoors
Liz from Me and My Shadow has a couple of suggestions that are close to her heart and which encourage families to get out and about in the countryside.
The first is a Discovery Pass from the Forestry Commission. This can be purchased for the recipient’s local forest and allows free access and parking all year round, as well as lots of other benefits. Prices vary site to site, but start at £25 and money raised goes supports your local forest and helps towards the maintenance of the facilities for everyone to enjoy.
The second suggestion is youth membership to the RSPB. This costs £20 a year and members will become Wildlife Explorers learning all about how to care for the environment and protect our wildlife. They receive magazines 6 times a year and there are different categories for under 8s, 8-12s and teenagers. It’s a great way to nurture a love of nature in your children.
Do you know of any other companies that sell gifts that support worthy causes? Leave us a comment below and help spread the word!