Charitable Gifts To Consider For Christmas

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Christmas is fast approaching and the pressure is on to find that perfect gift for everyone. Children are pretty easy because they let us know loud and clear what they want, in fact, they don’t stop letting us know. For the rest of us, it can be tricky and frustrating so we often end up just buying a gift for gift’s sake. It’s not uncommon to end up with gifts that are often not needed and sometimes, not even wanted. However, there is an alternative, one which really fulfills the quota of giving someone something meaningful, something that will really improve the quality of their life - a charity gift. In fact, last year, this is exactly what I recieved - an Oxfam Unwrapped gift from my mother, where she had donated, on my behalf, to provide clean water for ten people in a country where it was needed. I have to say it really was the best present that I got that christmas, I was so touched that I shed a few tears. I had never received a gift like that before and was quite surprised by just how moved I was. So, maybe you can consider giving differently this year….in effect, a charity gift gives twice and when picked for the right person, can be a truly heartwarming experience.

Charity gifts come in many shapes and sizes just like your loved ones, so you should be sure to find something that satisfies each of their interests, whether it be your eco-friendly friend or your animal-loving aunty or even your globally-conscious girlfriend. I have listed 12 charities, which, between them offer a variety of gifts within different price ranges. For each one I have listed the lowest-priced gift and the highest, but there are plenty inbetween to choose from so be sure to check out their sites for full details.

Oxfam is working with communities and partners towards a world without poverty. They believe that, in a world rich in resources, poverty isn't inevitable. These are the four project categories that Oxfam Unwrapped gifts support - Making a living, Investing in future, Water and Sanitation and Emergency Response. Gifts include training farmers, helping children get into school and providing life-saving services in emergencies. Gifts range from:

£5 - provides a ‘Fantastic Farm Kit’ which will provide training for farmers to help them boost their income

£500 - provides safe water for a village

WaterAid's mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Your donation will go towards WaterAid's full range of work improving access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene across all the countries in which they work. Funds generated won’t be limited to purchasing the specific gift you choose. Gifts range from:

£10 - provides a bag of cement to build the base for a toilet

£472 - provides a well and rope pump for 120 people

The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. WWF offers you the choice of either adopting an animal or supporting a cause or habitat. Gifts range from:

£36 - £60 to adopt an animal from

£10 - to help a penguin for christmas

£200 - to help mark and track a polar bear from

Centrepoint provides housing and support for young people in London, Manchester, Yorkshire and the North East and through partnerships all over the UK. They aim to give homeless young people a future and to end youth homelessness. ‘More than a Gift’ Gifts include providing a young homeless person with christmas dinner, sponsorship of a room to stay or counselling. Gifts range from:

£5 - provides a homeless young person with a tasty treat for christmas

£1500 - provides one homeless youth a ‘New Year New Start’ box which ensures they have everything they need to give them a fresh start. A place to stay, counselling, food, toiletries, equipment for school or college, clothing and the essential support they need to help them find their way

IMPACT’s aim is simple – that no one should become needlessly disabled by disease, lack of knowledge or shortage of medical services. Their international programmes prevent and alleviate needless disability. All of their projects are run by local people in touch with real need; IMPACT also provide resources. This ensures that IMPACT’s work is cost-effective and appropriate. Each gift is represented by a beautifully packaged token card. Gifts include the provision of medical supplies and services. Gifts range from:

£10 - provides a family in Bangladesh with laying hens to provide food and income

£1750 - provides a year’s tuition for a student nurse in Bangladesh

Save The Children work in 68 countries around the world, providing unique care and attention to each child they encounter based on their specific needs. Their vision is a world in which every child doesn’t just survive, but thrives, and can then go on to change the world. Save The Children change the world for children through innovative programmes, bold campaigns, independent advocacy and high-impact partnerships. Gifts range from:

£7.00 - provides an art set for children which could mean so much to a child in an emergency situation

£158 provides the opportunity for children to go to a nearby school and fulfil their ambitions

Practical Action has been working to transform people's lives for over 50 years and believe in challenging global poverty by using simple, practical and sustainable solutions. By choosing to buy a Practical Present, you will make a big difference to some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities around the world. Each Practical Present is just one example of the technologies they use to change lives. Gifts include taps to solar panels. Gifts range from:

£10 - connects a clinic to electricity

£1360 - provides 3 hygienic toilets

Unicef provide education, food, water and sanitation, vaccines, and emergency relief for children in 190 countries. Buying a gift from Unicef means you are you're helping to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrows children. Gifts range from:

£6 - provides life saving salts to treat 15 children

£1575 - provides midwifery kits for 50 mums

World Vision improves the lives of the world’s poorest children by working closely with communities to tackle the root causes of poverty. They focus on three key areas: child protection, child health and emergency response. Gifts range from:

£6 - provides a mosquito net

£1235 - provides for a classroom

World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats acre by acre. WLT funds the creation of reserves and provides permanent protection for habitats and wildlife. Partnerships are developed with established and highly respected local organisations who engage support and commitment among the local community.

An interesting gift could be to offset your recipients ‘unavoidable carbon emissions’ for the previous year by using the CO2 calculator or by estimating for a couple, individual etc if you are not sure of their living habits, or other gifts include:

£25 - secure 1,000 square meters of habitat for wildlife

£100 - buy and protect one acre of habitat.

Brooke is an international animal welfare charity dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules. Operating in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, they reach over two million working horses, donkeys and mules. They employ around 900 staff worldwide, including vets, animal welfare experts and development specialists. Gifts include training a vet, inspiring the next generation to helping a gharry horse or providing water all year round. Gifts range from:

£9 - supports 2 animals

£137 - This important gift trains a team of local animal lovers to go from village to village spreading animal welfare messages. They work with community leaders to help set up workshops and meetings, helping owners to learn more about their animals’ needs.

The Good Gifts Catalogue was created to provide a refreshing alternative to conventional unwanted presents. They were guided by two commitments: first, that every Good Gift was always wanted. And second when you buy a Good Gift, your money buys the actual gift. As well as a warm glow, with every gift you get a keepsake card (to send or keep) bearing a light-hearted description of the gift. They offer a variety of gifts such as providing of warm clothes for street children in India or providing an allotment for a homeless person in a hostel. The gifts are so varied that you truly have to check out their catalogue but there is sure to be somehting for everyone here. Gifts range from:

£6 - provides six coconut plants for a subsistence farmer in the developing world

£5000 - buys an acre of greenbelt