Gifts - Charity, Donations & Good Gifting

1. Trees for Cities

As part of their Love Trees campaign, Trees for Cities are asking people to donate to the charity on behalf of their loved ones.

A regular donation of as little as £3 a month can help plant 4 trees in urban outdoor class rooms. A one-off donation of £50 can help plant 8 fruit trees in a concrete school-yard transforming it into a beautiful, thriving, edible playground. £15 a month can help put a large canopy tree on city streets, helping to reduce air pollution.

Trees for Cities is an independent charity which inspires people to plant and love trees worldwide. Established in 1993, it creates social cohesion and beautifies our cities through tree planting, community-led design, education and training initiatives in urban areas that need it most.

Projects are managed across the UK and Ireland as well as internationally in cities such as Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Ica, Peru. Community-led design is an integral part of the landscaping projects. Involving local residents, schools and community groups helps ensure the sustainability of those green spaces.

Price: from £3 per month
Available: Trees for Cities - www.treesforcities.org

Price: £40
Available: from Practical Action - see www.practicalaction.org & www.practicalpresents.org

2. Practical Presents - Clean Water Tap

Clean water taps are lifelines to the poorest communities in Zimbabwe. Placing a tap stand high above the water level can help save lives by providing a vital source of clean, safe drinking water all the time.

Fed up with sending your friends and loved ones gifts they don't really need? Then send a Practical Present from Practical Action instead - the gift that could help transform the lives of poor people overseas. Practical Action is a charity which specialises in helping people to use technology for practical answers to poverty. It works in four continents to promote sustainable technology with local communities. This is technology which draws on people's experience, and feeds it; which recognises their potential, and releases it; which respects their environment, and nurtures it; and which builds on their past, to sustain the future.

3. Practical Presents - Eco Loo

In Zimbabwe these portable, dry toilets prevent water sources becoming contaminated and bring vital sanitation to thousands of deprived people. They can also help stop the spread of deadly diseases like cholera and dysentery.

See more info about Practical Presents & Practical Action in the description of Item 2 above

Price: £38
Available: from Practical Action - see www.practicalaction.org & www.practicalpresents.org

Price: £12
Available: from Send a Cow - www.sendacowgifts.org.uk

Send a Cow is a Christian charity that enables poor farmers in Africa to become self-reliant by providing them with livestock, training and advice. It works with some of the most vulnerable groups in Africa, including children orphaned by war, families affected by AIDS, and disabled people.

4. Send A Cow - Keyhole Gardens

Keyhole Gardens are an ingenious way to grow vegetables in Africa, and the UK. These innovative gardens grow three healthy meals a day, even in the face of an extreme climate, meaning families have enough to eat within a matter of months.

Shaped like a keyhole from above, this circular raised bed recycles as it grows because the central compost basket feeds the soil around.

5. Send A Cow - Dairy Cow

The original and best gift to give. One cow is enough to provide a family with over 3,000 litres of milk a year.

That amount of milk is not only plenty of nutrition for the whole family, it also provides a steady source of income every year from the sale of the surplus. We source good quality dairy cows in Africa, giving farmers and their families hope for the future. By providing milk to drink and to sell and ample manure for their land, this gift of a cow will make a huge difference to a farming family.

See more info about Send a Cow in the description of Item 4 above.

Price: £750
Available: from Send a Cow - www.sendacowgifts.org.uk

Link: see for more info about becoming an AngelMule at www.mmMule.com/angel-mule

6. Be an Angel with mmMule.com

New social travel network mmMule.com enables travellers to become ‘AngelMules’ and use a part of their holiday to deliver urgently needed supplies – like clothing, food and used electronics – to charitable organisations in need worldwide.

In return for delivery, travellers are rewarded with cultural experiences – like stays with local families or intimate tours of local sights.

The idea came from experiences of founders Andrew Simpson and Avis Mulhall. The pair always felt forced to choose either a volunteer program or regular holiday when planning trips, and were frustrated there was no easy option combining both.

7. The Miracle Tree from Tree Aid

This Christmas, the international development charity Tree Aid is asking people in the UK to start a small miracle by purchasing a slightly shorter Christmas tree and using the difference in price to plant trees in Africa.

Buying a 5ft tree instead of a 6ft tree will save around £10. With this £10 a family in Africa can gain crucial access to a vital source of nutrition through the gift of a Moringa tree. Otherwise known as the ‘Miracle’ tree, the leaves of the Moringa contain more protein than peas, more beta-carotene than carrots, more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more potassium than bananas and more iron than spinach.

Price: from £10
Available: from Tree Aid - www.treeaid.org.uk

8. Present Aid

Present Aid offers a wide range of gifts, all of which will help poor communities access vital funds for essential services such as education and clean water.

  • £731 could equip a whole school in South Sudan with materials to provide children with and education to last a lifetime.
  • £596 could train a student teacher in South Sudan, allowing more children the opportunity to gain an education.
  • £327 could build a deep well in Kenya, transforming the lives of a community where farming families face a desperate struggle to survive.
  • £120 could build a bridge to help women and girls, who trek many miles a day just to fetch water in remote areas of Ethiopia, reach a water source quicker and more safely.
  • £86 could buy two pairs of crutches for children injured as a result of conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory.
  • £18 could buy a floating garden in Bangladesh, that rises and falls with the water level, meaning a farmer can continue to grow crops and earn an income in times of flood.

Ethical gift buyers can now team up with others at their school, club, church or workplace to buy a truly life-changing gift by setting up an online group giving page. This page can be personalised with a photo and individual messages and others can be invited to contribute towards the gift using email, Facebook or Twitter. Donations will be visible online so it is easier to see when the target has been reached. Family and friends can also use the group giving facility to buy something for someone special who will then receive a gift certificate.

Gifts can be bought right up until Christmas day and a special group certificate can be printed off to display your achievement.

Available: from Present Aid at www.presentaid.org

9. Lend With Care

A gift voucher from Lendwithcare.org is a great original gift that allows you to choose an entrepreneur in a developing country to invest in, and then get that money back once it has been repaid, ready to invest in another budding entrepreneur.

The entrepreneurs use the money to start or grow their business, and so are able to invest in their children’s education and work to improve their own lives.

Lendwithcare.org is an initiative from international development charity CARE International UK and The Co-operative that lets people in the UK lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs running their own businesses in poor communities around the world.100% of the loan, typically £15 or £30, goes to the entrepreneur.

Loans can be given as a gift voucher to a friend or family member, who can choose which entrepreneur they would like to support.

Price: vouchers start from £15
Available: from www.lendwithcare.org

Available: Oxfam Unwrapped at www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped

10. Oxfam Unwrapped

Launched in 2004, Oxfam Unwrapped is still a novel solution to finding original presents – and beating poverty and suffering at the same time. It’s the perfect way to buy for friends and relatives – fanatical DIY dads, aunts with green fingers or fussy friends who seem to have everything.

You can choose from over fifty gift ideas including the ever-popular goat, safe water, toilets, teacher training and mango plantations. Prices range from £5 for school text books to safe water for a school at £1,855.

11. Good Gifts

The Good Gifts Catalogue was born ten years ago as a refreshing alternative to conventional unwanted presents. It offers you the chance to get people something they really want for Christmas. Instead of the usual pair of socks, you could get your loved ones an African Farmyard.

Good Gifts is guided by two commitments: first, that every Good Gift was always wanted. And second when you buy a Good Gift, your money buys the actual gift.

The Good Gifts Catalogue is run by the Charities Advisory Trust.

Gifts start from 50 bowls of rice for £5 and go up to £5,000 for 100 acres of Rainforest. £1,850 will give the gift of sight to 100 people, £1,200 gifts a prize bull to help breed healthier cattle in Africa, £500 trains a nurse in Sierra Leone for a year, £360 will nurture an abandoned child for a year while £25 gifts a Christmas hamper to an elderly person who might receive no other gift.

Available: Good Gifts Catalogue at www.goodgifts.org


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