Today’s post is a little different to my usual gift guides, but I think it’s the most important one. At Christmas, we’re reminded of how fortunate we are to have a safe home, a family and food to eat. Unfortunately, there are so many people in Ireland and in the world who live in poverty and sickness, and who need our help.
This year I decided that I really wanted to help some charities in one way or another, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. Although I can’t donate as much as I’d like to and I can’t support every charity, I thought I’d share a few charities with you and how we can help them.
You could make a donation as a gift on someone’s behalf, or you could buy a physical gift from one of the charities that offer the service. There are so many charities out there and I’d love to list them all, but the list would never end.
Here’s a few charities that I’m familiar with and, as I said, although I can’t donate and support them all, maybe between us we can. Rather than try to describe the charities, I’ve just put in their own descriptions and you can click on their links to find out more.
There are ways to donate money to all of these charities through their online pages, but also other ways we can donate too.
Saint Vincent de Paul – “Our goal is to fight poverty in all its forms through the practical assistance to people in need.” About twice a year I clear out my wardrobe and donate all of the clothes and shoes that I don’t wear anymore to my local Saint Vincent de Paul shop. There are so many things that we don’t get wear out of, but it’s guaranteed that someone else will greatly appreciate them.
Oxfam – “Oxfam is a world-wide development organisation that mobilises the power of people against poverty”. Like Saint Vincent de Paul, you can donate clothes, accessories and homewares to Oxfam stores. If you’re stuck wondering what to buy someone who seems to have it all, you can buy chicks, school books or even safe water for families through their website. That’s one gift that just keeps on giving.
Donate blood – This might sound a bit strange, but donating blood is a good way to give back all throughout the year. I donate blood as often as I can and it’s so rewarding to know that I am helping someone and contributing to their life. It’s not a scary experience at all, and I find it totally pain-free.
Trocaire – ‘Trócaire was set up in 1973 to express the concern of the Irish Catholic Church for the suffering of people living in the world’s poorest regions.’ Like Oxfam, on the Trocaire website you can donate money or buy the gift of water or an olive tree.
Concern – ‘Concern has been working with the world’s poorest people for over 40 years.’ From just €4, you can buy so many life-changing and life-improving gifts on the Concern website. There’s something to suit everyone’s budget, so you could even buy something as part of a gift to someone.
DSPCA – ‘The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) is a registered charity, established in 1840 to prevent cruelty to animals and is now Ireland’s largest animal welfare organisation.’ For the animal-lover in your life, you could donate €10 to buy bedding for the dogs and cats in the DSPCA’s care.
Food donations – Keep an eye out in your local shopping and community centres coming up to Christmas for food donation banks. You can bring tins and non-perishable foods, or check out Crosscare for you local food bank and to see what you can donate.
Animal Adoptions with WWF – ‘We use our experience, credibility and influence to help create long-term solutions to global threats to people and nature – such as climate change, the peril to endangered species and habitats, and the unsustainable consumption of the world’s natural resources.’ Again, for the animal-lover in your life, with WWF you can adopt an animal under their name. To say that you adopted a panda for someone is a pretty generous gift!
Barnardos – ‘Barnardos is a children’s charity. We work with vulnerable children and their families in Ireland and campaign for the rights of all children.’ With Barnardos, you can donate your clothes, homewares etc or make a cash donation to the charity. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to know that for so many children, Christmas isn’t the happy time of year that it should be.
Make a Wish – ‘Our mission is to grant the wishes of children aged 3 to 17 years who have life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.’ The Make a Wish Foundation is a very unique charity in the way that it helps very sick children. You can donate whatever amount of money you like, or specific amounts that fund certain wishes.
ARC – ‘ARC is a haven offering professional personal support to men and women affected by cancer and those who care for them.’ ARC is a charity very close to my heart, and I think the work they do is absolutely incredible. There are loads of different ways to get involved and to help, including making a donation on their page.
I know this post is very different to what I usually post here, but I really think helping others at Christmas, and all throughout the year, is so important. As I said, there are so many charities out there and every single one of them deserves all of the support and help in the world. These are just a few charities that I know, but of course you can search for a charity close to you and find out how you can support them.