Six affordable ways to give back this Christmas

December 14, 2015
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At Christmas time, we’re all a little guilty of being a tad bit gluttonous. Everyone splurges a little too much on presents, food and booze, and we sometimes forget those who are less fortunate.

So to gain some extra Santa brownie points this year, why not include a little bit of charity into your gift-giving? Everyone can give back, and with so many charity options available, there’s no excuse not to. Even on a student budget, anyone can give back this Christmas.

Spend Christmas Day volunteering

On Christmas Day it seems everyone has the day off to overeat and binge-drink, but not everyone is so lucky on December 25. Across the country there are hundreds of people who spend their Christmas away from their family, volunteering at soup and community kitchens feeding the homeless and the less fortunate. Help give back this Christmas by giving up some of your time at a volunteer kitchen. You can find a bunch of kitchens by searching them here.

Gift someone a charity gift

Instead of giving unwanted gifts this Christmas, why not give the gift of charity? World Vision allows you to sponsor a disadvantaged child with upfront payments or sustainable contributions. Oxfam gives you the opportunity to gift pigs, goats, chickens, water and a whole barnyard of animals to disadvantaged communities across Africa, with some gifts starting for as little as $9.     

Send a girl to school

It’s a terrible thing that we live in a world where girls are marginalised and discriminated against if they want to gain an education. Donate to Care Australia to help educate disadvantaged girls this Christmas; for as little as $75, you can change an impoverished girl’s life by sending her to school. You can also donate books, uniforms and reading packs for adults. It’s a worthwhile and life-changing gift.

Give to the Kmart and Salvos wishing trees

The Kmart Wishing Tree is an Aussie Christmas institution. For 28 years now, the charity tree has been handing out gifts to disadvantaged children across the country. Shoppers can buy a gift in-store and leave it under the charity tree, and on Christmas volunteers from the Salvation Army will hand out the gifts. It’s an easy and thoughtful way to include disadvantaged kids in your Christmas shopping.

Adopt your new best friend

Animals are wonderful Christmas presents, but if you want to make your purchase a heartfelt one, buy your new pet from the RSPCA. Often animals in the RSPCA have been dumped and neglected by previous owners or simply left out on the street. Buying from the RSPCA means you’re rescuing an abandoned and unwanted animal. 

However, pets do come with a lot of responsibility, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before buying your new best friend. 

Buy charity Christmas cards

From WIRES to the RSPCA and even Amnesty International, you can buy Christmas cards from many of your favourite charities. All proceeds go back to the charities, and all support giving back at Christmas. If you’re environmentally conscious, The Smith Family has a range of Christmas e-cards so you can donate and keep the planet healthy. 

Keegan Thomson

Keegan is studying journalism at the University of Western Sydney. He’s an avid storyteller and global traveller whose likes include fresh bed sheets and Jeff Goldblum movies.

Image: SJU undergraduate admissions, Flickr Creative Commons license