The Season of Giving: How You Can Give Back This Christmas
Author: Vanessa Gagliardi
Christmas is one of the best times of the year. It is during this exciting time, as we begin to reflect on how abundant and incredible our lives truly are, that we are reminded more than ever of the many people in the world perhaps not as fortunate as ourselves.
Are you considering doing a charitable deed this Christmas? Here are 7 ways to give back to the community:
1. Recycle an old phone so someone else can eat
The non-for-profit organisation MobileMuster is partnering up with OzHarvest to deliver a meal to someone in need for every mobile phone recycled. All you need to do is drop off your spare phone at a collection point – check their website for a collection point near you. This project will run for a couple of months after Christmas so you have plenty of time to get rid of your old phone if Santa happens to bring you a brand new one.
2. Look out for charitable Christmas trees in shopping centres
Christmas trees in shopping centres aren’t only just for decoration – many of them are charitable trees to give shoppers the opportunity to give back to the community. Typically, charitable trees have Christmas tags hanging on them, each with a wish list item from someone in need. Simply pick a Christmas tag off the tree, go shopping for that wish list item, and return the gift to the tree or the concierge desk. What a way to make someone’s Christmas!
Some shops now accept donations at the checkout. Next time you make a purchase, perhaps you can add a few extra dollars to give to the shop’s chosen charity. Sometimes you can get a bracelet or bottle of water out of your donation, too.
3. Visit the elderly
Christmas can be an especially lonely time for the elderly. Visit a nursing home or retirement village near you and drop off some Christmas cards or delicious baked goods. Perhaps you can even stop for a game of cards or bingo with some of the residents.
4. Feed the animals
You may want to pay a visit to your local animal shelter to check it is running smoothly at this time of the year. You can do this by donating pet food, toys and cat litter. If you can, why not adopt an abandoned animal as a gift for a loved one?
5. Raise money for a charity of your choice, instead of receiving gifts
Ask your family and friends to make a donation to a charity of your choice, rather than asking for gifts for yourself. This can set a great example to young children by demonstrating the importance of charity, and will help you make a meaningful contribution this festive season.
6. Deliver goodies to homeless shelters
Imagine a Christmas with no loved ones, no home, and no food in your belly. Christmas can be a painful time for the homeless, so why not remind these people that they are not forgotten by delivering Christmas stockings to your nearby homeless shelter? You can fill the stockings with personal hygiene items, snacks, socks, scarves, hats etc. This can really help to make a difference to someone’s Christmas.
7. Lending a helping hand
The smallest gestures can make a big difference to somebody’s Christmas. Perhaps your elderly neighbour can do with a visit and a home-cooked meal? Maybe you could offer babysitting services to a busy parent in your street? Even a phone call to a loved one you don’t get to visit often can make a big difference.
- MobileMuster (2018), Recycle a Mobile, cited on 22.10.19, <https://www.mobilemuster.com.au/recycle-a-mobile/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3-S1l-2u5QIVQQwrCh0KZAHaEAAYASAAEgJe__D_BwE>
|Written by Vanessa Gagliardi|
Vanessa (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath with a passion for good food. She uses nutrition and herbal medicine to help people feel their best, from the inside out.
Vanessa enjoys nature walks and Pilates, and loves a good almond mocha.