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Published December 2nd 2012
Make a difference this Christmas
The Christmas season, which is often characterised by excessive consumerism, is also characterised by an increased awareness of the less fortunate and a desire to give meaningful gifts. Charity gifts are perfect for the person who already has everything, the difficult to buy for, the altruistic, or the service-minded individual. The following charities offer a large selection of unique Christmas gifts aimed at providing much needed assistance to the local and international community.
Crisis, based in London and other large UK cities, is dedicated to ending homelessness by providing support, training workshops, life skills coaching, and access to housing and other services. This Christmas you can reserve a space for a homeless or vulnerably housed person to access the Crisis centre. This gift provides: 3 hot meals (including Christmas dinner), clean clothes, a health check and visit to the dentist, as well as access to all the Crisis services (housing and employment, debt and legal advice, psychological services, etc.). One reserved space costs £20.48, but you can purchase as many spaces as you like. In short, for a few pounds you can get someone off the street and on the journey to a changed life.
66 Commercial Street London E1 6LT 44 0300 636 1967
Free the Children
Free the Children, founded by Canadian children on behalf of children worldwide, is dedicated to ending the exploitation of children, as well as supporting their education and development in a safe environment.
Free the Children offers a large range of targeted Christmas gifts from low-priced options, such as school kits, healthy baby packages, and clean water for families to high-end gifts like building an entire school. These gifts are especially good for older children or teens to open up the discussion about the difficult conditions faced by people in so many parts of the world.
Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East
During a season when the Middle East, particularly Bethlehem, is at the forefront of public consciousness, it makes sense to connect with a charity that is working for peace in some of the most troubled areas of the Middle East. The Foundation is a small UK-based charity supporting the humanitarian, food, and medical relief provided by St George's Church and Clinic in Iraq. The Foundation also promotes religious reconciliation and peace amongst the diverse and divided groups in the region. A pack of 10 Christmas cards is only £5.00. Also available are 2013 calendars, t-shirts, and books about the peace process in the Middle East.
The International Justice Mission is a human rights organisation that rescues victims of violence, oppression, injustice, slavery, bonded/forced labour, and the sex trafficking trade. A gift of £20.00 will pay for legal advocacy, undercover investigations, and aftercare treatment for victims of slavery and trafficking. Other gifts include funding for rescue operations, new homes for widows and children, and educational scholarships. Donations in pounds can be made via the UK site, while the specialised gift catalog is available in dollars via the US site.
Great Ormond Street Hospital and Children's Charity
The Hospital, located in London, treats over 200,000 patients every year. Gifts to the charity fund research, equipment, medical treatment for children, and support for families. Offering a huge selection of Christmas items from cards and wrapping paper to mugs, hoodies, and toys, all funds benefit the hospital. £16.00 will finance a member of the play team, while £20.00 will purchase an intensive care family nurse.