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12/12/14: Three ways to make a difference

Every year in the run up to Christmas, I get sucked in to all the gifts and the food and the wine (oh, the wine!), and the chocolate and the spending...and basically all the material craziness that consumes us all from time to time.

But when I strip away the crazy lust for the best deal or the newest flashing whatnot, the real pleasure often comes down to the process of thinking about someone, what they might like or use or enjoy, and making the effort to be able to give that to them. This year I want to take that process a bit further, so I've come up with three simple ways that I might achieve this (and that you might like to take part in too).

Taking part in the Amnesty 2014 #Writeforrights campaign  You might have spotted a couple of photos about this from me on Instagram.  I've finally gotten involved with and joined Amnesty UK after years of on and off petition signing.  One of the first campaigns that has come up is the Write For Rights campaign, Amnesty's annual letter writing campaign that targets key cases around the world and encourages people to write to governments, presidents and monarchs encouraging them to do the right thing, and to the prisoners themselves offering words of support and also seasonal greetings.  Additionally you can easily take action online.  One of the cases that stands out for me is of Raif, a Saudi Arabian blogger tortured and jailed for 10 years for starting a forum to encourage political debate.  Writing and signing petitions not only shows the person and their country  that they are important, but it also encourages further investigation and shines a light on the situation.  To read more about him or any of the other 11 cases, click here.

Trussel Trust Foodbank This is a really easy one, because with all the offers and 3 for 2s going on, it won't be difficult to find some extra packets to donate to go to someone who is relying on one of the 420 foodbanks across the country.  The infographic below shows just how many people are now relying on the emergency food given out by these banks.  It is seriously shocking to think that at some point in the last year almost a million people weren't able to afford food for themselves or their family the United Kingdom - that's people in my county, and in my town.  And that number just seems to be increasing.

Buying presents that support charitable organisations There are lots of options out there for presents that do good while you give:  Oxfam Gifts/Unwrapped - I especially like the Sari bunting, the streamer sets and the jewelled mirrors from their gift range, and the donations to projects have featured in previous years Christmas lists.   Currently they have half price gifts (with the other half being made up by another donor) available.

Dalit Candles -  These gorgeous clay potted candles are definitely also on my present giving list, and the profits are used by the Life Association to provide housing and education to some of the most impoverished children in India.  Their range is extremely reasonable and smell of delicious lavender or coconut.  My favourite at the moment is the set with the little clay rose designs on the pots. 

Rooted Beauty - Rooted Beauty takes every purchase and assigns that profit to a project.  Each project is set up for a new woman across the world that needs help to start afresh, learn a new skill, support a family - often after suffering through some of the most difficult situations imaginable.  This year, Rooted Beauty has created a special gift set that contains a Razz Lime Lip Butter that supports Suzi, and a handcrafted pair of earrings from one of their partner organisations: Starfish Project.  


Do you have any other suggestions to add?  
Love to hear your thoughts!

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Thanks for commenting! For quicker replies find me on Twitter @gfmgfy.

  1. Hahah, it seems christmas gets us all thinking about consumption. I just wrote a blog post on the same topic. Great minds, etc. ;) x

    1. Definitely :) I will be sure to pop by and read your post! Thanks for stopping by xx

  2. I've been really concious of this recently as well. I have gifted a few Dalit candles and I have been putting multiple gifts into re-used x-mas bags and not wrapping them all individually - most people are happy with the thought behind it and although I'd love to wrap everything individual and make it look super fancy etc I know it's just going to get ripped off in a few moments anyway! Why waste the paper/resources?
    I am also going to talk to Maddie about how some children don't even have food on X-mas day, let alone mountains of presents. A few weeks ago we went through her toys together and she VERY happily donated a load of her less used toys so that other children could have them, bless her.
    There is so much more I could be doing but I feel I've made a good start :-)
    Rach xx

    1. Great start :) Exactly - we have a drawer/cupboard where we save up paper/bags from birthdays/Christmas for using in the future. This year two of the bags I gave presents in were just two pretty ones that I had been given in shops - simple coloured paper bags.

      In the future I definitely would like to do more to help but I think I've also made a start.

      Hope you're having a lovely Christmas. x

  3. This is a lovely post in the true spirit of Christmas. There are so many ways to give a little back x

    1. Thanks Karen :) I definitely think that all the little things add up xx


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