Christmas. It's a funny old time. So many loved ones to buy gifts for, and so much stuff to give. According to a 2010 Sydney Morning Herald article, 6 million Australians received one or more presents they never used or later gave away.
Instead of fueling these statistics, why not break the cycle, and give a thoughtful gift that will help others, too. Here are 5 gifts that will make a difference this Christmas.
1. Oxfam Unwrapped
Oxfam Unwrapped offers over 40 gifts that make a difference to a person living in poverty. Such examples include $10, which will buy a chicken for for an underprivileged family in South Africa. $20 will provide breakfast for a child living with HIV in South Africa. $37 will buy a little pig for a needy family in Vietnam. Pigs are not only great companions but also fertilise crops as well as breed to birth baby piglets, which in turn generates an income for families in need.
Once your purchase of an Oxfam Unwrapped gift is complete, you will be sent a FREE blank or personalised greetings card within 5 - 7 business days, with which you can sign off with your own message to your loved one.
In a similar style to Oxfam Unwrapped, you can buy a gift of a life necessity for a fellow human being of the developing world. Such gifts available via World Vision Gifts include clean drinking water for $60 (wells, repairing water pumps, building toilets and providing hygiene education). $36 will buy a gift of sports equipment to children in struggling communities. Even the smallest gift of $5 will provide school pencils tor students in townships that otherwise struggle to find basic education tools.
Melbourne company Waggle Dance offer mainly experience gifts for children. That said, Waggle Dance has linked with Melbourne City Rooftop Honey to provide helpful little gifts for kids in the form of seven seed packs of herbs and flowers that bees love. Not only are these seed packs educational for green thumbed kids, but by purchasing this gift, you are helping Melbourne City Rooftop Honey take care of their urban rooftop beehives all over Melbourne. Not forgetting, you are also helping bee colonies in your own garden as they feed on their favourite pollen, which in turn is very important for Melbourne and the greater region's ecosystem.
Waggle Dance Bee Pack Gift
Buy a bee gift pack for $45 from Waggle Dance HERE
4. TOMS: One for OneŽ Shoes
If you haven't heard of TOMS: One for One movement, it is an American based company that provides a new pair of shoes to a child in need with every pair of TOMS purchased.
Although TOMS has ventured into eyewear, bags, apparel and accessories, TOMS classic shoe designs are still one of the company's best sellers.
TOMS Classic Shoe
Prices vary, shop at www.toms.com. Kids shoes also available.
5. 31 Bits - Recycled Beads
The company 31 Bits use fashion and design to make a difference. 31 Bits work with artisans in Uganda, who make beautiful jewellery out of paper. Artisans cut used posters, advertisements, and text book pages into long strips, which are then rolled into strips tightly and coated in varnish. The income generated by each woman working with 31 Bits, allows them to take home a monthly income, which in turns enables families to send their children to school, and provides money for food and healthcare.
Kids recycled bead necklace from 31 Bits
Stunning designs are available for women and children. Prices vary, shop at 31bits.com.