A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published November 29th 2014
The majority of Australians have all the basic necessities of life - a roof over our head, food on the table, running water, reasonable clothes, a bit of money in our pockets and so on. In fact for most, we have so much more than this. Generally, we have a great standard of living that we can pretty much take for granted. So why not take a minute to think about what you can do that will help someone else this Christmas? Even small gestures can make a difference.
For a bit of inspiration, here's a list of five charitable options you could consider.
Think about buying Christmas cards that directly support a charity. For example, you could purchase cards from the Cancer Council, which offers a great range. Most cards are $8.95 for a pack of 10.
One of the card designs available from the Cancer Council
Similarly, CamCare offers a range of quality cards, which you can buy online, or at their shop, located at Room 101, Level 1, Camberwell Market, 519-525 Riversdale Rd, Camberwell. Packs of 10 cards cost between $8 and $10.
CamCare is also offering a range of Christmas cards
Buy a Christmas tree from Oxfam, and enjoy that fresh pine tree scent in your house. You can order your tree online. Delivery date is 6th-7th December. The cost is $79 including delivery.
2. Donate a toy online
You can donate to a range of charities online via Simply Giving. Go to the website and click on your charity of choice. For example, you can select the Starlight Children's Foundation which helps to brighten the lives of children who are hospitalised or dealing with serious illness.
3. Volunteer your time
Being charitable does not need to cost anything! There are a lot of charities looking for volunteers at Christmas time. Try Melbourne Basket Brigade, which needs volunteers on Sunday 14th December to help to pack, wrap and or deliver baskets of food and toys to families in need before Christmas time. The location is Xavier College Brighton Campus. You will need to pre-register.
Melbourne Basket Brigade packs, wraps and delivers baskets of goods to families in need
Scope, the organisation which supports people with disabilities, is seeking volunteers to wrap Christmas gifts at Westfield Knox from 13th-24th December. 100% of all funds raised at the gift wrapping booth will be donated to Scope. So if you have a flair for gift wrapping, email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate your interest.
4. Christmas Carols
A Melbourne institution, the Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight are on this year at 8pm on 24th December, at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Tickets are available online. All funds raised during Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight campaign go towards supporting children who are blind or have low vision.
Carols by Candlelight - a Melbourne institution that benefits visually impaired children
5. Participate in the Melbourne Toy Run
Come to Calder Park Raceway between 10.00am and 3.00pm on Sunday 21st December and see the motorcyclists prepare to take toys and food to help children in need. The Melbourne Toy Run is a big day in the motorcyclists' calendar, with many riders decorating their bikes for the event. Entry to Calder Park is by gold coin donation (for non-riders), with funds raised going to the Salvation Army. You will also be able to buy badges for $10 each.
Melbourne Toy Run - a fun day for just a gold coin donation
So that's just a few ways you can help others this Christmas. If you have other ideas, please feel free to share them.
And while I have the opportunity, I'd like to wish all my readers a very happy, safe and charitable Christmas.