Wondering what to get that friend who already has everything? Or that friend who says they want nothing? Take this quiz to find out what initiative they would most appreciate you donating to on behalf of them – charity is a gift that actually keeps on giving.
So you need to get your friend a gift? Answer these questions to find out some of the charities they would be interested in helping. Lots of charities will provide you with a gift card to give to your friend, or you can make a homemade one with a description of the chosen cause on it.
1. The last serious conversation you had with your friend was about…
a) How seriously cute their dog is!
b) Leichhardt Council’s plans for a refugee welcome centre.
c) The medical crisis in Nepal.
2. You always hang out with your friend at…
a) Hawthorne Canal Reserve
b) Your local cafe
c) At the 24-hour gym
3. Your friend loves to eat…
a) Vegan, cruelty free and dumsptered goodies.
b) Locally sourced, home grown and seasonal produce.
c) Paleo, gluten free, zero sugar superfoods. Plus a handful of vitamins.
5. The last gift your friend gave you was…
a) a big bear hug
b) A subscription to The Economist and some home-made pickles
c) A gift voucher to a health retreat and a butter-free cake
4. You love your friend because they are…
a) Compassionate, cuddly and a bit wild
b) Well-informed and outspoken
c) Kind, caring and reliable
Mostly A’s – HELP A Furry friend
Worried about what to get your four-legged member of the family this Christmas? A handmade festive neckerchief of course! Head to Glorybox Designs, 62 Constitution Road, Dulwich Hill to pick up a range of fun, festive and all round, bad-ass scarves for your cat or dog. And the best part is proceeds will go to the Penny Marathon, a registered Australian charity that saves the lives of unwanted, neglected and abused cats and dogs in Australia, Greece and other countries. Penny Marathon began serendipitously as the brainchild of two Greek-Australians who, when trying to come up with a way to raise awareness for stray, neglected and abused pets, thought back to their heritage. They then decided to run a mega marathon covering the 42 kilometres from the city of Marathon to Athens. This is now an annual event held across the world in July, though smaller events are held throughout the year to raise funds and awareness.
Glorybox Designs is open Wed-Sun,10am-7pm or call 0450 442 177.
The RSPCA shelter in Sydney is overflowing with nearly 40 dogs currently being held. All these gorgeous pups want for Christmas is to go home with you! To help make all these dreams come true, RSPCA NSW is dropping adoption fees down to $100, regardless of age, breed or size, until the 20th of December. If you are interested in providing a home for one of these dogs, please make sure it is a truly well thought out decision and that you consult with the RSPCA beforehand. Visit www.adoptapet.com.au for all the information you need to adopt a new family member. If you can’t have pets of your own become an RSPCA Guardian Angel to an animal in need. Your donation will give an animal a happier and safer Christmas.
For more information, visit rspcaguardianangel.com.au.
There is no greater gift you can give this festive season than that of friendship and fun. All across the country there are people, young and old, in hospitals and aged-care facilities who are lonely, scared and separate from their families. This is where the Delta Society comes in. Every year, they make their way across over 850 facilities, visiting thousands of patients, bringing their four-legged, absolutely lovable pals with them. While it may seem like an empty gesture to some, when you see a child’s face light up as one of their therapy dogs enter the room, distracting them from all the unfamiliar and scary sights and sounds, you can understand the value.
For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.deltasociety.com.au
Mostly B’s – Help A Local lovely
Homeless Women’s Lunch Project
Gathering since 2008, this free group lunch is held weekly in Sydney’s Inner West and is attended by homeless women aged 16 to 68. Originally five women attended the lunch every Monday but word spread and now the group has grown to 50 regulars, and their children. The lunch and group facilitation is provided by Creative Womyn Down Under and is a voluntary unfunded community initiative. The majority of the women in the group are fleeing domestic violence but each member has an individual story impacted by a range of challenges such as poverty, homophobia, racism, imprisonment and illness. The group also functions as a meeting place where women sleeping rough can discuss ways to support each other. Any financial donation made will go directly towards food for a healthy, weekly vegetarian lunch and snacks throughout the week.
Find out more at www.creativewomyn.net/supporters or contact Georgina at email@example.com or call 0406372142.
National Red Balloon Day
While Christmas is always associated with a winter wonderland it is, of course, summer in Australia, an especially hot one at that. With the heat comes bush fires, and with bush fires comes hundreds of Australian men and women risking their lives fighting these fires. While they are out there in the heat and smoke protecting their communities, their families are at home praying for their safe return. On the 28th February 2016, show your support to our courageous men and women by flying a red balloon from your mailbox, fence, or workplace as a simple measure to say ‘Thank You Fireys’.
Together with the sale of ‘Thank You Fireys’ Red Balloons and other merchandise through their website (www.nationalredballoonday.org) they’ll not only thank our fire fighting heroes, but assist in raising funds.
The Exodus Foundation
Last year The Exodus Foundation brought a festive feast to over 2,500 people in need. Providing a yummy meal as well as offering social, health and wellbeing services without discrimination, they make a difference in the Inner West. Why not lend a dollar or a can of food to help bring festive cheer to those in need and help them have a cheerful Christmas? Every year on Christmas Day, they open their doors to provide a free Christmas lunch and festive cheer and last year, over 2500 poor, needy, lonely, homeless people attended. They can only do this with your support though, so please consider donating towards the Christmas Day lunch event with a financial gift or with canned goods and produce.
Contact 8752 4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Dress for Success Sydney
Not-for-profit organisation Dress for Success Sydney has launched a national campaign, The Back on their Feet Christmas Appeal, asking Australians to help raise $15,000 for women at risk of homelessness. The funds raised will help empower women to build opportunities for employment, housing and security, while enabling them to kick off 2016 with a fresh start. Women can be at risk of homelessness for a variety of reasons, with many of those who seek out this charity coming from broken homes, escaping an abusive relationship, having recently won their battle with addiction or just in need of support. It takes more than a great suit to get a job, so in addition to free dressing and styling service, they provide a full suite of practical skills workshops, covering topics such as how to draft an effective CV, money management, mock interviews and workshops.
Please visit www.givingseasonappeal.gofundraise.com.au/page/BackOnTheirFeet to contribute.
Providing 40 million meals every year to needy families all across the nation, Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation. But they can’t do it without your help, especially during the holiday season when the resources of many low income and single parents are stretched to the limit trying to provide happy, unforgettable memories of festive cheer for their children. The best thing about Foodbank is that, thanks to their key staples supply partners, every $1 donated to the charity provides $7 worth of food to struggling families. That means that with just an easy $20 donation, you could provide a Christmas feast anyone would be proud of. So please, think back on all the delicious roasts and hams you’ve delighted in over the years and give generously.
You can donate at www.foodbanknsw.org.au.
Mostly C’s – HELP A Curative carer
The Mercy Ships (pictured at top) is an organisation of medical practitioners who volunteer to travel to impoverished nations, providing medicine and care for those usually unable to access such things. You can contribute to this cause by purchasing a gift through their website, which will make a world of difference to someone waiting to begin their journey of hope and healing. Choose a gift to provide hope, health, and even life itself to some of the world’s poorest people. For each gift purchased, Mercy Ships will send you a gift card to pass on to a friend or loved one this Christmas. This card will explain the work of Mercy Ships and the impact of the gift you have given on their behalf. Every gift purchased helps to fund the work of Mercy Ships and will be carried out by a Mercy Ships volunteer.
Take a look at their incredible range of presents at www.mercyships.org.au/shop and start changing the world.
This year, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a charity organisation dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously ill children and their families, will be fundraising at Darling Harbour’s month-long Christmas festival, Santa Fest. On Saturday 19 December from 6:30pm, the Open Air Cinema on the Village Green will become home to the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia Charity Night at the Cinema. All are welcome to attend a free screening of Arthur Christmas, a 2011 animated Christmas comedy. At the event, there will be Starlight collection buckets for patrons to make an optional donation. All funds raised will go towards granting 130 Starlight Wishes.
To find out how you can help fulfil Starlight Wishes this Christmas, please call 1300 727 827 or go to www.starlight.org.au.
Fred Hollows Foundation
The Fred Hollows Foundation Gift of Sight gift cards will make a real difference to someone’s life. For as little as $25, you can give a gift that is life-changing. They’re a great gift to give your relative, friend or colleague. Simply choose a card from the online range. Different gifts are available but each makes a unique contribution to our goal of ending avoidable blindness. Cards can be personalised and delivered directly on your behalf. Order a printed card or an e-card and give a gift that lasts a lifetime.
Purchase via www.hollows.org or 1800 424 195.
With four families being told the awful news that their child has cancer every day in Australia, Redkite’s appeal is hard to ignore. This charity organisation is dedicated to supporting children, young people and their families through cancer, from diagnosis to treatment. Realising that there are many different ways that this illness damages lives, Redkite provides far more than just financial assistance. Primarily, they have a huge focus on counselling and educational support to ensure that once these kids overcome the disease they still have all the same opportunities and potential as other children and can continue their lives unhindered. Redkite receives no government funding and thus is entirely dependent on the generosity of the community.
Please visit www.redkite.org.au to find out how you can help today.