Stories

With Christmas around the corner, we’re interviewing ChildFund supporters to find out what the festive season means to them and what motivates them to buy Gifts for Good.

For Carol Vleeskens the perfect Christmas gift is one that’s meaningful for both the donor and the recipient, and benefits the wider community.

Every year for the past nine years, the New South Wales resident has bought her Christmas presents from ChildFund’s Gifts for Good catalogue, which supports disadvantaged children and families around the world.

Among the gifts she’s purchased are solar lamps for children living in homes without electricity, ducks for families, and study sets and sports equipment for children.

Giving Gifts for Good is about sharing a part of herself with her loved ones, says Carol. Social justice is an area close to her heart and she has had a long history working with NGOs in the areas of social welfare and child protection.

“When I first started buying Gifts for Good I was looking for opportunities to support charities in a way that I felt like I could share with people around me that I was passionate about a particular cause,” she says.

It’s about “stirring the social justice gene”, says Carol, and she hopes the Gifts for Good her friends and family receive inspire them to help disadvantaged communities.

“It’s about getting people to recognise that ‘things’ aren’t important as we live in an amazingly privileged country and time, and there are many people who don’t have the same opportunities,” she says.

Each Gift for Good she buys has been carefully considered. She makes sure the gifts align with the recipients’ personalities or interests.

“I will try and match the gift to the person,” Carol says. “For example, I have a friend who works in public health so I gave her the gift that provides children with mosquito nets.”

“If I know someone who is a really good leader in their community, I’ll give them a gift that’s about empowering children and youth to become leaders in their community.

“If I know someone who is passionate about gardening I might give them one about seeds or trees.”

In addition to being an expression of her values and having meaning for her friends and family, buying Gifts for Good is easy.

“Gifts for good is fantastic because I don’t have to think!” Carol says. “I don’t have to go to the shops and spend time thinking about what someone has or doesn’t have, or if something is in their colour scheme. I don’t have to don’t do any of that.”

Carol buys Gifts for Good a couple of times a year and gives them as Christmas and birthday presents.

“I buy a whole heap and keep the Gifts for Good cards in my cupboards because don’t go off and get eaten like my chocolates!”

It can sometimes be challenging to find meaningful gifts at Christmas.

But this year, you can bring true joy to your friends and family without going anywhere near a shopping centre.

By purchasing a life-changing charity gift from our Gifts for Good catalogue, you can share a feel-good moment with a loved one, and bring happiness to the life of a child in need. Your act of kindness is a gift that can bring lasting joy.

This year our Gifts for Good catalogue is filled to the brim with creative and thoughtful Christmas donation presents. To help you decide between the lifesavers and big ticket items, here are five gifts that should be on every Christmas list.

Give a Goat as Your Gift

When you give a goat to a family in a developing community, you can help change an entire village. That’s why Chola, from ChildFund Zambia, says the communities we work with love receiving goats.

“The goat program is one of our most successful programs,” he says.

When you give your gift, a family in need will receive a goat and training that will help them turn your initial investment into a family business.

As part of the program, a baby goat is passed to a neighbouring family, which sustains and expands the program.

 

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