The Weekend Series: five awesome charities to throw some last-minute support behind this Christmas
In the madness and mayhem that is the festive season, it’s easy to lose sight of what Christmas is all about – the spirit of giving! Gifting our nearest and dearest with rad presents feels mighty good, but nothing warms our hearts more than helping out those in need. If you’ve got anything to spare, donating to charity is an awesome thing to do in the festive period – not to mention that donations are tax deductible. Literally any donation that you make this Christmas is a positive step, but we’ve picked five of our favourites that you may not have heard of.
Share the Dignity
If you’ve ever been surprised by your period, you will no doubt be aware of how stressful and humiliating it can be to be without the right equipment to deal with it. For some women, this is a common reality every month. When it comes to charities that make a tangible, practical difference, Share the Dignity is right up there. As the name suggests, this charity is about helping to afford some basic dignity to homeless women and victims of domestic violence by providing them with the sanitary items that we so often take for granted. As well as collecting thousands of pads, tampons and personal hygiene products every year for women experiencing homelessness and poverty, Share the Dignity campaigns for justice for women in Australia and helps fund funerals for victims of domestic violence.
Animal Welfare League
It’s not just our human pals who need help this Christmas! Pets are for life, but there are some bozos out there who seem to ditch their furry mates as soon as the slightest inconvenience (or a younger model) comes along. This problem is especially rife at Christmas when thousands of animals are surrendered to shelters to make room for new pets. The Animal Welfare League helps to provide shelter, adoption and foster care services at rehoming centres in all six states across Australia. The centres find homes for millions of lost, abandoned, surrendered and mistreated animals, as well as provide veterinary care to animals whose owners can’t afford their medical treatment.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to see exactly where their donation goes, GIVIT is the way to go. This national not-for-profit runs on the genius basis of connecting those who have with those who need, in both a private and safe way. The website allows you to see exactly what impoverished, marginalised and vulnerable people need – whether it’s a bike to make getting to work easier or a pair of steel-capped boots to help an unemployed dad get a new job, GIVIT allows you to see individual causes and see what you can do to assist. So rather than jumping through hoops or waiting for money to come through, those who need help get it directly and swiftly. Good vibes galore!
Eating is no doubt a highlight of the festive season, so if the way to your heart is through your stomach you should consider donating to Foodbank. This rad not-for-profit acts as a pantry for the various charities and community groups that feed the hungry, providing the vital link between the food industry’s surplus food and the welfare sector’s need. Foodbank works with the entire Australian food and grocery industry – including farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers – to acquire donations like stock that’s out of specification, close to expiry or excess to requirements. You can donate food, funds or your time to Foodbank, so it’s easy peasy to find a way to contribute.
In the wake of the same-sex marriage plebiscite, our LGBTQI+ community is feeling understandably fragile. It was a pretty damaging time that left a lot of people feeling like their rights were up for debate and discussion, which understandably has a huge effect on mental health – particularly amongst the youth, many of whom are still coming to terms with their own sexuality and identity. Minus18 is an amazing organisation that champions the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer youth Australia-wide, setting up safe spaces, running fun events and providing training for schools and workplaces to better support LGBTQI folk. The money you donate to Minus18 will help young people to access resources to guide them through their discovery of sexuality and gender, as well as access to life-changing inclusive events to help them feel more comfortable and accepted in what is already a rough time.
Here are a few more awesome charities that you should throw some coin behind if you can – Kiva allows you to fund loans to disadvantaged or low-income earners starting a business, Orange Sky Laundry provides a mobile laundry service for the homeless, DV Connect provides help and solutions for those experiencing domestic violence, ASRC supports those seeking asylum and refugees in detention, and the WWF allows you to support endangered animals by (virtually) adopting them. No matter what you choose, you’re making a difference. Merry Christmas!