Top 5 Charities to get In the Sack with this Christmas | Blogging for a Cause | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Friday, 18 December 2015

Top 5 Charities to get In the Sack with this Christmas | Blogging for a Cause

We all know that Christmas is a time for giving, so what better way to show you care this year than by giving to charity.


When I put up my hand to participate in Agent Mystery Case's In the Sack Christmas 2014 blogging fun & 12 days of giveaways I had to put on my thinking cap as to what to blog about. I'm no good at fashion, so there was no point in trying to hand out any tips for your Christmas wardrobe (and besides, there are a number of bloggers who already have, better than I could ever do!), and when it comes to gift guides? Been there, done that in 2013. If you're interested you can find my Lazy Girl's Guide to Christmas Gifts here, all of which are still relevant for your Christmas giving this year.

What made me decide to blog about giving to charity? I received an email a few weeks ago about a Christmas charity initiative that I thought was a great idea, and I really wanted to share that with you. I also had a conversation with a really lovely OxFam representative on my last day in Perth and it also got me thinking about ways I could support charities during the festive season.

So after a little further thought and research, here I am now, bringing you a list of 5 charities I think you should totally get in the sack with this year (and of course a bunch of bonus charity suggestions at the end). Why not give the gift of support to the many disadvantaged and sick people around the world this year, and spread a little extra joy in 2015.

Save the Children & National Ugly Sweater Day

The first charity I'd like to introduce you to today is Save the Children & National Ugly Sweater Day. NUSD is an American-led initiative that is encouraging everyone to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater in December and help raise much needed funds for Save the Children. Save the Children help disadvantaged kids all over the world, including in Australia, and are a very worthwhile charity to direct a few dollars towards.

Of course wearing a sweater in Australia in December is akin to a weird form of sweat-box torture, so it's probably best to just throw a few dollars towards Save the Children and dream of a White Christmas instead. If you do decide that you'd like to get in on the ugly Christmas attire fun and want to make a donation, you can head here to the Australian Save the Children site and make a donation online. When you donate online you can choose whether your money is put towards international programs, programs in Australia or emergency relief.
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Oxfam Unwrapped

Next up I'd like to give a shout-out to Oxfam's Unwrapped range of gifts. If you're anything like me, then you have plenty of stuff. After 34 Christmas' I find it hard to come up with gift ideas for myself that are things I really, really need, and I know it's the same for many people. If you have someone in your life that really doesn't need anymore stuff, why not consider getting them an Oxfam Unwrapped gift instead?

To give an Oxfam Unwrapped gift all you need to do is head to their website, choose the gift you'd like to give on behalf of your loved one, be it a goat, clean water or food for those on the verge of famine, give the card to the recipient, and know that your money has gone to helping those who need it most. I know one person in particular who would absolutely love it if I bought an Oxfam Unwrapped present this year and so now all I have to do is decide what exactly I'm going to gift.
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The Smith Family Joyspreader

The Smith Family is Australia's largest education-oriented charity and provide support for disadvantaged Australian children to participate fully in their education, giving them the best chance at breaking the cycle of disadvantage.

"Education is a driver of real and powerful change that can break the cycle of disadvantage."
Image and text taken from The Smith Family website

They have a range of programs that you can support through their Joyspreader initiative and they will send you out a card that you can pass along to your loved one with details of the program you're supporting.
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Rafiki Mwema

Rafiki Mwema is a charity that I first became aware of after Zanni Louise from My Little Sunshine House hosted her Creative Businesswomen's High Tea in 2014. I read a number of posts from people who attended about the work that Rafiki Mwema does and it stopped me in my tracks.

From their website:
Rafiki Mwema means ‘Loyal Friend’ and that is what this 'safe house' provided by Play Kenya will be to these young girls. Rafiki Mwema was started by the UK based charity, Play Kenya and was born from the need to support very young girls who have been sexually abused. There are sadly too many girls under the age of 12 who have experienced sexual abuse and at this time there is no specialised care for these very vulnerable children.
They started Rafiki Mwema, a therapeutic safe house, to help these little girls make sense of the horrors that have happened to them, allow them access to any medical treatment they need, support them through the court system, and where possible to work with their families for a safe return to the home.

I can't imagine the horror that these girls have gone through and for me, particularly having two small girls of my own, I just knew this was a charity that I had to support. I've bought tickets in their regular raffles and we also sponsor one of the Rafiki Mwema girls, Faith, and I love knowing that our money is making a real difference in the lives of young girls.

If you would like to support this wonderful cause you can do so by giving checking out this post from the Rafiki Mwema blog which has a whole bunch of ways you can support their fantastic work this Christmas. We sponsor one of the special girls who live at Rafiki Mwema and it's a joy to receive updates on her progress, and it's a great way to teach the girls about caring for others from a young age.
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Kiva

I'd heard about microfinance charities but never actually investigated what it was all about, and how it worked, until I read mention of Kiva in the comments section of a news article. After reading more about how microfinance works and why it can often be a better solution than simply donating food or other material things, I am planning on making my first donation to Kiva in the new year.


I like the idea of helping and empowering people to help themselves. If you feel the same way then I encourage you to have a look around the Kiva site, check out the stats and learn more about how microfinancing works.

Bonus Charity:
As I mentioned at the top of the post, Agent Mystery Case ran her In the Sack promotion, in the lead-up to Christmas 2014. What I didn't mention is that Agent Mystery Case is also supporting a very worthy charity called Cases4Kids.

Cases4Kids was started by Jules from SensiKids and Zippy Zappy Life. I couldn't believe it when I read about foster kids being sent off to new homes with nothing but a garbage bag to carry their precious belongings in. Jules is trying to change this and help to provide every foster child with a suitcase all of their own. It's a fabulous initiative and if you would like to help Jules help the kids you can make a donation here.

Other charities you might like to check out and get behind, as suggested by my lovely peeps on Facebook, are -
Medecins San Frontiers, Camp Quality, Operation Christmas Child, Tear Australia, Indigenous Literary Foundation, The Salvation Army, Vinnies, Heartfelt and Angel Gowns.

25 comments:

  1. Such a great idea lovely, I must share this later today, I've already clogged up my FB feed! This year I think I'll support Kiva, although still help Rafiki more on a writing basis! You big softie you x

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  2. What a lovely idea, I hadn't heard of Rafiki Mwema- what a brilliant charity!

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  3. Lovely idea. I always try to donate at this time of the year also x

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  4. Thank you for sharing these. Each year we choose a charity to donate to and this year I was feeling like a change to our usual charities so was the perfect heads up! You're a gem x

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  5. National Ugly Sweater Day gave me a bit of a laugh - I don't know if I'd participate in that one! But I do like contributing to Oxfam Unwrapped. My kids love helping to decide which gift our family should donate, and it also starts great conversations about giving and how lucky we are in Australia.

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  6. This year with my Husband's family we are donating a dollar amount to charity in lieu of gifts. We all have enough & don't need anything, especially when there are so many who do. We agreed rather than to receive a gift that would likely sit mostly unused to put that money somewhere else to do great things.

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  7. I'm supremely relieved to have no annual Christmas gift responsibilities beyond our teachers. But if I did, I'd be sure to buy as ethically as humanly possible. I appreciate anyone pointing out the avenues. Thanks Kylie x

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  8. No worries! I am going shopping on Thursday when we get paid so I can get an Ugly Chrissy t-shirt. It sounds like so much fun!

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  9. Thanks lovely xx
    Yeah I am definitely going to be doing some donating to Kiva next year, it really sounds like a wonderful idea.

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  10. They really are, as soon as I heard about them I just knew I had to do something to support their important work.

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  11. Christmas definitely makes you more mindful of how much you really have, that's for sure x

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  12. That's a great idea getting the kids to help pick the gift. I might see if Punky wants to help me pick ours.

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  13. That is an awesome, awesome idea! I think I may have to float that idea with my family for next year, I know I certainly don't need anymore stuff.

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  14. How did you score that awesome arrangement. Even with doing a Kris Kringle with both sides of the family I am still stuck buying gifts for 4 other people, not to mention parents on top of that!

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  15. We always donate to the local St. Vinnie's through school with food and present donations and we also do the Christmas wishing tree at KMart. I think it's a great time of year to teach our kids, what the gift of giving really means.

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  16. We buy oxfam gifts every year - the girls love picking out what we will buy and we chat about how it will help them and why they need it. Great post.

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  17. We give every year to Opportunity International (similar to KIVA) such a great charity. Our daughter started getting pocket money last year and she gets $5 a week with 50 cents of that placed in a special "charity" money box and she gets to choose where that money goes at Christmas - it is a great way to start the conversation with our kids and help them understand just how lucky we are!

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  18. Great selection there. The only one I've heard of is Rafiki Mwema. A friend of mine works in a job where he helps refugees transition into life here. Last year we gave them quite a few of our toys and I'm about to line that up again this year.

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  19. Awesome selection - I had no idea that Ugly Sweater Day was even a thing!

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  20. How fun does Ugly Sweater day sound? And with the warmth too day we could all be sweating pretty ugly ways ;)

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  21. Thank you, some of these I had never heard of before. I don't have any particular charities I like to support. I give as often as I can to as many as I can throughout the year. When money's tight I donate unused items to vinnies, or people who are less fortunate than myself in my community.

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  22. I saw a friend on FB in the USA with their ugly sweater, such a fun idea to raise money! I had not heard of some of these, we usually do the Christmas giving tree at school and the shopping centre so the boys can be involved. #teamIBOT

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  23. Great post and really is keeping in mind that Christmas is a time for giving not just receiving (as I'm trying to teach my girls). Love National Ugly Sweater Day and the idea of microfinance also appeals. We regularly give to the Luekemia Foundation and the girls chose a gift to put under the Kmart gift giving tree as a way of being involved too. They also have to do random acts of kindness as part of the advent calander challenge we have - usually just involves not fighting with each other for a moment though!

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  24. I love the idea of the ugly sweater for charity. I do not as such to charities at Christmas but instead I make home made hampers for people in need. This year I have given fresh veggies from the garden, jams, pickles, shortbread & candy.

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