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Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

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The festive season is almost here. Trees are going up, carols are playing in shops, and we’re counting down the days until we can see our loved ones and shower them with presents. 

Finding the perfect items can be tricky, so we’ve put together a handy guide with plenty of ethical Christmas gift ideas to ensure you have no trouble filling your baskets or Santa stockings while giving back.

1. Donate Gifts for Good

You can support ChildFund’s efforts around the globe by donating life-changing gifts from their Gifts for Good range. Each donation is accompanied by a Christmas card, emailed directly to a nominated address. Alternatively, you can print out a card at home and include it in your gift basket. 

We offer a range of gifts, but we recommend choosing something that your special someone genuinely cares about. Our range for 2020 includes old favourites like a dozen chickens and school supplies, but also gifts that will provide relief for communities affected by COVID-19. These include a handwashing station, COVID-19 protection kits or food packs that will feed two families for a whole month. It’s never been easier to improve the quality of life for children in need.

2. Sample locally-made produce

Regions like the Hunter Valley, Margaret River, and basically the whole of Tasmania, make wonderful produce abundant. Farmers around the country pour their hearts and souls into artisan cheeses, boutique chocolates, cured meats, nuts, and much more! Combine them and you have the best grazing platter ever made. There’s nothing better than some local camembert piping hot from the oven, topped with rosemary and local honey. The best way to collect these wonderful ingredients is with a weekend road-trip to your closest farmer’s market or farm gate.

If you’re not able to hit the road, many producers have turned to online sales to bring their products to happy bellies around the country. Simply head to websites such as Spend With Us, dedicated to supporting locally-made produce and bringing them to buyers across the country. You can also go to producers directly! Buy some extra virgin olive oil from Robinvale Estate in Victoria, Watermelon Seed Bars from Seedsations in Tasmania, Pesticide-Free Organic Tea from Collombatti Naturals in NSW, Fig Salami from Homemade By Annie in Victoria, or scores of other local businesses.

3. Buy Australian wines

As one of the best wine countries in the world, we simply love our homegrown bottles. A Semillon from the Hunter Valley, a Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, a Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley, or Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, there really is an endless amount of wines to choose from. And when you find a wine you truly love, why not opt-in on a regular basis with a subscription?  It will give you a never-ending supply of beautiful bottles of wine with a hearty side of community support.

Remember to be age appropriate! If you’re buying for a family that includes children, you should accompany your wine with sparkling grape or apple juice that the little ones can enjoy.

4. Order artisanal hampers

Don’t have time to shop for items to include in a Christmas gift basket? Artisanal hampers are a great alternative if you want to have everything ready to go and save time. They can be filled with everything from delicious local produce to homemade self-care packages. With Christmas approaching fast, most Australian companies are getting their hampers ready for shipping. Take a look at The Perfect Hamper, or consider buying a hamper from a drought or bushfire-affected business, when you’re creating your shopping list.

5. DIY Christmas gifts

DIY projects have never been more popular! Whether it is making something from scratch or upcycling something you already own, it’s a great chance to explore your creative side. Why not start with an at-home pottery kit? The original founders of this idea at Crock’d believe in the “dirty hands, clean minds” philosophy and we honestly couldn’t agree more.

6. Choose handcrafted goods

If you’re looking for items that don’t have an expiry date, why not consider some handcrafted goods and jewellery? Nothing feels quite as personal as a one-off ceramic keep cup, or customised wine glasses. This year has had its challenges, but it’s unleashed a wave of creativity, with many Australian makers creating wonderful items – ranging from kitsch to practical – to brighten up your home.

Here are some of our favourites:

  • Spend With Us: Support craftspeople affected by drought right across Australia
  • Make It Collective: Find customisable, unique, and novel pressies this Christmas
  • Country & Co.: Browse the selection of unique Australian-made jewellery and homegoods 
  • Love Australian Handmade: Feel the passion that goes into each and every product
  • Made It: Look no further for local accessories, jewellery, crafts, homewares, and more

7. Support local artists

Instagram makes it easier than ever to find and connect with talented artists in your area. We love drone photography of Australian beaches and wildlife, just like the images of Jaimen Hudson. But it’s not only photographers that are shining on Instagram. It is also the place to discover painters such as contemporary indigenous artist Lauren, who sells originals and prints under the name Freestone.

Purchase a print, photograph or drawing, and request it to be sized appropriately to fit into your Christmas gift basket. You may even include a note explaining why you chose that artwork for the recipient!

8. Choose sustainable fashion

With fast fashion known to be one of the biggest contributors to pollution worldwide, opt for ethical and sustainable fashion. Find beautiful pieces made by local designers online, like this western-style denim shirt, yellow tulips bucket hat or tie-dye kimono. If you prefer shopping with more established clothing brands and want to assess how sustainable and ethical they are, have a look at the rating system on Good On You to get a quick overview.

Keep in mind the other gifts you plan to include and the size of your basket or stocking! You want to make sure that once folded, your loved one’s garment will slip right into your Christmas gift basket.

9. Pamper a loved one

While international travel is temporarily off the table, treating your loved one to a staycation is the perfect way to show them some love while supporting your community. The Empty Esky and Holiday Here This Year campaigns are what we’re using to plan our adventure to bushfire-affected areas. The campaigns offer pre-planned itineraries and are full of inspiration to explore your own backyard!

We recommend printing the receipt and hiding it in a decoy gift. You might choose a travel book, diary, mug or something else that can conceal the receipt, while also being a thoughtful gift. Remember to get the magic moment on camera as they ruffle through their Christmas gift basket.

10. Breathe deeply with plants

Buying for a green thumb? There’s something special about gifting someone new native plants for the house or garden. Christmas only comes once a year, but seeing these plants grow and change throughout the seasons means your loved one can enjoy it for a long time to come. When purchasing plants, it’s best to ask the nursery for detailed care instructions to ensure the plant is able to survive and thrive.

Looking for a few ideas? We love the succulent Sydney based start-up Little Succers for a small and easy to care for plant. Can your loved one handle a bit more? There are plenty of mail order services, like Plants in a Box or Home of House Plants, that deliver indoor plants from all over Australia right to your doorstep! Looking for an outdoor plant? Don’t forget to buy something native to your area!

Fill your Christmas gift basket with a range of ethical treats

Now you’re all set to shop for gifts for that special someone. Be as creative as you can with the combination of items you include and don’t be afraid to spoil! It’s been a tough year for everyone, and we’re sure they’d appreciate the love.

This Christmas, give back and change the lives of children living in developing communities. Purchase a charity gift for a loved one and bring them joy while making a difference to those who need it most.  

To help you decide on the perfect present, we’ve put together our charity Christmas gift guide for 2020, so we can take the stress out of your gift shopping. 

1. Build a classroom

Education has the power to change the world. Many children in developing communities, particularly in remote and rural areas,  struggle to access education. Even when schools are available, they may be in disrepair, lacking resources or ill-equipped to cope with the number of students.

You can change that this Christmas, and provide a safer, friendlier learning environment for children living in developing countries. A classroom is a gift that keeps on giving beyond Christmas, as it will benefit children for many years to come. 

Donate towards or build an entire classroom in your loved one’s honour. We’ll use your gift to construct new learning environments and supply learning materials.

Price: $4,500

2. Food packs

Many families around the world have been adversely affected by the community impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including rising food insecurity. Families with children under the age of five, people with medical conditions and families who have lost income are the most vulnerable. 

When you donate food packs as your charity gift for Christmas, you help not only one, but two families with a month’s worth of nutritious food. 

Food packs don’t just include edible goods. Gifting food packs also provides two families with clean water, soap, cooking oil and other basic necessities. 

Price: $70

3. One handwashing station

Handwashing is scientifically proven to slow the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. Now more than ever, handwashing and hand hygiene are vital, but many children lack access to clean water and soap in developing communities. When you donate a handwashing station in honour of someone you love for Christmas, you’re helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 in developing communities around the world.

Price: $149

4. Warm blanket and pillow

Sleeping on a concrete slab or hard dirt floor is the reality for too many children around the world. Children sleeping in these conditions aren’t able to get the rest they need to sleep warmly and comfortably, which means they don’t have the energy to focus on their school work. 

Donating a warm blanket and pillow might seem like a simple gift, but they can help ease the challenges of a harsh winter for a family in need, and provide comfortable bedding all year-round.

Price: $23

5. COVID-19 protection kits

For families living in developing communities, health stations are usually the only nearby source of essential health care. 

When you choose to donate COVID-19 protection kits, you provide health stations with medicines, personal protective equipment and other supplies that are essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in developing communities. Your charity gift will provide enough supplies to help ten families.

Price: $800

6. Chickens

Chickens provide a family with a lasting supply of nutritious eggs for them to eat. They can also be sold at the market to generate an income for the family. 

This Christmas, make a life-changing impact on a family by donating a dozen chickens, and help a  family create a brighter future.

Price: $24

7. Mosquito nets

A mosquito net is a cost effective way to prevent malaria, which kills one child under five every minute.

Gifting a mosquito net can protect the most vulnerable members of a family from disease carrying insects. Your donation will ensure children can sleep safely at night. 

Price: $10

8. One dairy goat

Goats provide families with fresh milk, yoghurt and cheese to keep children healthy and growing strong. Surplus can be sold by parents to pay for school tuition and other much-needed necessities. 

Donating a goat as your Christmas gift to a loved one this year provides a much needed lifeline for families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Price: $99

9. School supplies

Every child needs pens, pencils, notebooks and other supplies to complete their school work. Sadly, these are unaffordable for many families in developing communities. 

This Christmas, help a child learn by donating a set of school supplies as your Christmas gift.

Price: $76

10. Vocational training and tools

Every young person wants the opportunity to have a better future for themselves and their family. This Christmas, you could give them that chance.

Donate vocational training and tools as a charity Christmas gift, and you’ll provide a young person with everything they need for training in an in-demand career path.

Price: $170

Change lives this Christmas

When choosing what to give for Christmas, you can’t go past a charity gift that has the power to change the lives of those who need it most. Your donation will be greatly appreciated by your loved one and the people it helps. 

Browse our Gifts for Good and choose how you’ll change a child’s life this Christmas.