FEATURE: Gifts that really give!
The holiday season approaches and Christmas has to be one of the most wasteful times in the calendar. Cards, wrapping paper, food, useless unwanted gifst and so on...all discarded as if we live in a world of infinite resources and zero problems.
Ironically Christmas is of course meant to be about giving but nowadays it seems to me that it is more about receiving than ever before.
Treehugger have produced a great green Holiday Gift Guide for this year to help you source your stuff as ethically and sustainably as possible and City Hippy has something to add for your consideration.
If you are looking for the perfect gift to give that is ethical, sustainable and completely in the spirit of both charity and giving then City Hippy collective member Moo Hippy, who works for Oxfam in one of their charity stores, has the perfect solution for you. Take it away Moo:
Many times in 2005 I have been reminded just how lucky and priviledged I am! We have seen the awful Tsunami in Asia, the hurricane(s) in the US, the Earthquake in Asia and the famines across Western and Southern Africa to name just a few of the tragedies that have befallen at least hundreds of thousands of people.
In light of these terrible events and being involved with various events to try and Make Poverty History my belief that 'I do not need anything' has been re-enforced. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly and my cupboards, safe drinking water on tap, plenty clothes to wear, a good education and friends and family that love and support me.
This year for my birthday instead of being given something just because I have lived for another 365 days I really wanted to give my presents to someone who would really benefit from a gift. So I asked all my friends & family to give me Oxfam Unwrapped gifts instead of buying me presents.
The idea is that you get given a gift but it gets sent to where its really needed, somewhere where that gift really can make a difference to someone's life. You get sent a card explaining what the gift was, who sent it for you and why it's so important. Here is a list of what was bought on my behalf for my birthday:
One planted allotment
Training for an organic farmer
Training for a health worker
Some safe drinking water
Some textbooks for a classroom
2 mosquito nets
2 essential hygiene kits
10 emergency buckets
& 700 school dinners
(WOW! Now that's what I call making a difference!!! - CityHippy)
I can't tell you how pleased I was to be sent so many things that actually made a difference to people in need of help. I was also amazed at the range of different and interesting gifts people had sent on my behalf.
It was a real thrill to see all the cards arrive and place them around my home and to learn about all the gifts. The picture above is all the cards I received collected on one table. Still blows me away.
It is really good to know that my birthday has made a difference to someone I will never meet.
Doing something different for my birthday has enabled me, my friends and my family to take a step back from this consumer-driven world we are constantly encouraged to take part in and do something that means something! Something so much more important and rewarding too!
To find out more about Oxfam Unwrapped please visit http://www.oxfamunwrapped.com/
And maybe this Christmas ask for and give something unwrapped...
p.s. City Hippy here, just wanted to thank Moo, who is a very good friend to the City Hippy project, for this great post and to let you all know that she runs Moo Moo Magic which makes the most awesome handmade cards - so if your family or office needs awesome handmade cards get in touch with her and get her to email you some sample pictures.