Christmas is the time of giving. If you’re blessed with the means to live a reasonably comfortable way of life, you have the ability to give. No matter how much or how little you can give, you have the power to make a major difference in the world with your money.
This year I decided not to buy gifts, but to donate my entire gift budget to the ones in need.
We all know that it is not about the gift’s price, but about the value you put into that gift and the fact that you thought of them – that makes people happy. So why not spend your money meaningfully this year?
Here I share with you a list of idea that you can use to transform your Christmas evening into a joyful moment, not only for the ones you love, but also for people in need.
There are different ways to donate. I suggest that you think about the cause closest to your heart. Animals in distress? Children’s education? Plastic in the ocean? All causes are good, so pick one that reflects your values.
Once you have selected your cause, choose the dimension. You can send money to one of the big and well established ONG lines such as UNICEF, WWF, or Red Cross. Or you can do something local and support a project in your city.
Whatever you choose, make sure it is a cause you believe in, because when you are going to give your card to your friends and family instead of a proper gift, you will have to explain why you give that money to the cause you chose.
If you still have no idea as to which cause to choose, here are the two that I’m currently supporting:
This Swiss-Indian ONG is based in Zurich. I support the project HEMLATA 100, which aims to create a real social impact by sponsoring 100 talented girls with full college scholarships in their chosen fields of study. Quality education is key to rising from poverty, and supporting one girl to go to college will impact not only her life, but her family and her community as well.
This is an association lead by 6 women who support the education of migrants in the region of Fribourg – Switzerland. I support this project because integration starts from being able to express needs and feelings in the right way. OuverTür helps migrants not only to develop their French and German skills, but also offers them support to better understand the Swiss system and society, as well as ultimately supporting their integration into the Swiss society.
If you think that your family will not appreciate a simple card and a receipt of a donation, you can purchase something which will help a community, whether it be your own or another. Here are my selections:
Social Fabric offers a selection of high quality textile products, including household goods, clothing, and accessories. Their products are made from sustainable materials, are ethically produced, and support the refugees. Buying at Social Fabric will help them to assist refugees with integration into the community of Zurich.
This is a for-profit American company that has created a very nice concept of donation and charity. Through your purchases, Toms helps provide shoes, sight, water, safe birth, and bullying prevention services to people in need.
The concept is very simple: when Toms sells a pair of shoes, a new pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child. A similar concept applies for eyewear or other products.
Giving is good for so many reasons!
Behaviors are contagious and if you start to donate some of your resources to a good cause, people close to you will follow your example.
Also, giving is so good for ourselves. Deep down inside, we all want to feel that we contributed, added value, and had some kind of meaning and purpose in our lives. Giving to others helps to feel that we’ve made that difference and contributes to making the world a better place.
Whichever way you look at it, giving back to society has profound benefits for both you and others.