‘Tis the season of giving — Here’s how to support local charities this Christmas

After the year we’ve had, it seems even more salient to lend a hand to those in need. Here are just some of the worthy initiatives that make it both simple and constructive to share the selfless spirit of Christmas. Go on, don’t be a Scrooge.

Support the Auckland City Mission as it rebuilds
Like many charities, the Auckland City Mission couldn’t receive donations of food and other goods during lockdown, which means they are even more in need of donation parcels in the lead up to the 25th of December. The community is also set to open the doors of HomeGround in January — a permanent housing initiative that will primarily be a place of transformation and healing. The team is taking monetary donations as it prepares to welcome the new neighbours. Learn more here.

Feel-good gift giving with ShopGood
Creating a greater force for positive change together, Cure Kids has teamed up with the new charitable online shopping platform ShopGood. From now until the 5th of December, shoppers can donate a portion of every sale to Cure Kids, making it easy to give back while shopping for Christmas gifts. Cure Kids is New Zealand’s largest child health organisation funding research into a wide range of illnesses and conditions that affect our children, so even a small donation is sure to go a long way. Browse ShopGood here.

Donate to or volunteer at Everybody Eats
While we’re planning our Christmas feasts, some families are struggling to put basic food on the table. As New Zealand’s first pay-as-you-feel restaurant, Everybody Eats ensures food doesn’t go to waste while encouraging everyone to come and enjoy a meal. You can help this worthy cause by volunteering in the kitchen or as waitstaff, or by simply donating online. Every $10 will provide three extra meals to the homeless or food insecure. This Christmas, the team has put together gift hampers. As well as its own treats, Everybody Eats is working with local businesses to create bespoke and exclusive bundles, with all proceeds going straight to the charity. Learn more here.

Give a safe, starry night at the Women’s Refuge
Sometimes staying home doesn’t always mean staying safe, with the pressures of lockdowns said to create a ‘perfect storm’ for family violence. At the Women’s Refuge, this meant demand for its Safe Stays increased by 25 percent in a matter of months. For $20, you can gift one night of peace for a woman and child, which includes a clean bed, hot meals, 24-hour security, supportive staff and helpful advice. Donate here.

Help a child with Foster Hope
Many foster children arrive at their new placements with little more than the clothes on their backs. Foster Hope Charitable Trust provides them with a backpack of essential items as they take this next step. Through its website, you can donate pre-selected items of various size and monetary value, from underwear and pyjamas to an adventure camp and, of course, a Christmas present. Donate here.

Protect vulnerable babies with the Petal Foundation
As New Zealand’s first dedicated service for babies suffering from prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol, The Petal Foundation aims to provide stability and care for the vital first 1000 days of life. Through practising psychological and physical wellbeing, the highly specialised respite home will not only ensure a better start for its babies but supports mothers, whānau and caregivers for an overall better outcome for all. Help the team’s education, training and mentoring initiatives by donating online or volunteering your skills. Learn more here.

Gift Oxfam’s meaningful cards
With issues of waste shining a rather unflattering light on Christmas culture, Oxfam’s Unwrapped initiative gives directly to those in need, by way of a simple greetings card. From supporting farmers and beekeepers in remote areas to sending soap (and hope) to communities at risk of Covid-19 outbreak, each card will donate to a global cause on behalf of the receiver. As with all good gifts, it’s the thought that counts. Donate here.

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