Christmas Gifts That Give Back
By Vicki Abary and Kritzia Santos
This month is the busiest time of the year. People are preparing for the holidays: buying gifts, stocking pantries in preparation for holiday meals, adding décor to their homes, and entertaining guests. Through the hustle and bustle it’s easy to overlook the less fortunate during the holiday season —those who may not have a family to celebrate with, little to eat, or no home to call their own.
FäE candle Thrive in a limited edition vessel for MoveED
What if you could do both? Offer a gift to a loved one and at the same time, provide for someone in need? Make the celebration of Jesus’ birthday more meaningful by offering Christmas gifts that will warm your heart, too.
“Banca” serving platter by Kenneth Cobonpue for MovED
1. Donate to a chosen organization.
Instead of buying a material gift for your loved ones, why not donate that cash to an organization that can use your money to help others? The non-profit organization MovED founded by Alexandra Eduque and Jesse Maxwell needs only P1,000 for a pre-school child to receive education for a month. This includes tuition, school supplies, uniforms, and in-class feeding. Conversely, if you don’t want to give cash to MovED, you can buy purchase Printsonalities Paperie’s Stationery for a Cause or FäE’s limited-edition candle for a cause, Thrive. These products donate a portion of its proceeds to MovED. Moving it up a notch is furniture and home accessories designer Kenneth Cobonpue who designed and named serving platters after the simple banca specifically to help MovED– 100% of the proceeds of these will go to organization. UNICEF Philippines, World Vision Philippines, and Virlaine Foundation are just a few other non-profits that would put your donation to good use.
Photo courtesy from Mike Palanca on White Cross Orphanage Facebook
2. Give the gift of your time.
Instead of throwing a big birthday or anniversary bash this month, maybe you can invite your loved ones to volunteer their time to play and cuddle children at White Cross Orphanage. An organization that houses children aged 0-6 from unwed mothers, rape victims, or prisoners, White Cross not only accepts cash donations that go toward the children’s needs, they also encourage visitations and interaction with the children who are in desperate need for love and attention. White Cross is located at 276 Santolan Road, San Juan, Metro Manila. Call then at +632.724.2145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tree planting photo courtesy of Haribon Foundation
3. Plant more trees.
Through its Adopt-a-Seedling program, The Haribon Foundation will plant a tree seedling in your name for only 350 pesos. This is in line with its environmental movement Road to 2020 where the foundation plans to restore Philippine native rainforests with native tree species by the year 2020. Should you wish to donate on behalf of a loved one, you have a choice to send a physical card or e-card stating their donation. Haribon will care for your adopted tree for up to three years.
Looie Lobregat-Ocampo of Linea Etnika with her latest collection at Idee Clothing Store
4. Buy local brands that provide livelihoods.
I have been enjoying all the new homegrown fashion brands that are not only stylish and proudly Filipino but also provide sustainable livelihoods to those who need it. Brands such as Kaayo Modern Mindanao and Linea Etnika, brands which I previously wrote about here, Filip + Inna, Yakang Yaka Barter, Anthill Fabric Gallery, AMarie, and GREAT Women Brand’s Zarah Juan have not only put a spotlight on the beautiful weaves and beadwork of our tribeseople and incorporated it into wearable fashion but also given them a livelihood and even taken care of their food and shelter. Handbag brands Tali Handmade and Rags II Riches employ inmates and the urban poor. Offer the women in your life stylish items from these brands that also continue to provide jobs to women in need.
Make It Blissful’s Martine De Luna and women of White Box PH photo courtesy of MakeItBlissful.com
5. Make wishes come true.
Have you always dreamed of a fairy godmother making your wishes come true, much like in the fairytale Cinderella? So do many children with life-threatening medical conditions who may live long enough to see their wish granted. This Christmas, why not play fairy godmother to a lucky child and help them enjoy an experience they will never forget? Through Make a Wish Philippines, you can either make a donation towards a child’s wish, adopt their wish outright, or volunteer to help make their dream a reality. One such wish granter is Martine De Luna of Make It Blissful, who adopted the wish of Ezra and Krystel last Christmas as seen here. When you Adopt-a-Wish, you not only give that child the item that they wished for but also prepare a special day for him or her that they will never forget.
6. Give gifts that give.
iVolunteer Philippines is selling water bottles for only 250 pesos each. (Comes in silver or white) proceeds will be used to sustain iVolunteer Philippines advocacy to spread volunteerism. For orders, send a message at iVolunteer Philippines Facebook page or thru email@example.com
7. Food products proudly prepared and curated with love and patience by a person with Autism.
Choose from Corned Beef, Chicken Tocino, Pork Tocino, Bacon and Angus Beef Tapa. Share the love and light and give gifts from Marty’s market. For orders you may call 09178103437 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Anchored Philippines makes you give gifts you can personalize with your own design. These items are lovingly created by our communities in Smokey Mountain and Payatas. Every order ensures livelihood for mothers in Smokey Mountain and daily expenses for the Payatas college scholars. Customize pouches, bags and shirts. For orders email email@example.com
9. Give a Gift that Lives On
For a friend or family that you know has mostly everything they need, why not give them a gift of sponsoring a student to go to school? And your gift continues on. Tulong Sa Kapwa Kapatid Foundation has been working in building dreams through education, youth formation and development. A scholarship gift brings many opportunities and hope for the future. To sponsor a college student it is Php 20,000 yearly, P6,000 to support a high school student and P3,500 to support a grade school student. Every sponsor can opt to also receive regular hello’s and updates from the students themselves. Get to know more about it here.
You may also give out 2KK Christmas Cards and write letters to your loved ones.