a christmas gift guide #1

Holy moly, Christmas is just around the corner. Who else is flabbergasted at just how friggin quickly this year flew?

I’m not much into the commercial Christmas thing... mindless gift giving isn’t my favourite past time, if you catch my drift. On the other hand, giving something full of your love and spirit to people you care about is a beautiful thing. Ergo this list of charities. I went in search of charities or cool projects that are all about giving other people (or furry friends) the gift of a better life, better food, better education etc. I thought it might come in handy if you’re looking to do something a little different this year, or if everyone you know already has enough socks and candles. Merry silly season!

I e-met Steve Argent, the founder of OrphFund, through my work with Sustainable Table, who in turn provides funding to one of OrphFund’s projects. Steve gave up everything to start his own organisation, for reasons he chats about in this interview I ran with him a while back. OrphFund is a volunteer based organisation helping abandoned, orphaned and vulnerable children around the world. One of their latest projects has seen them build a children’s village in Sierra Leone to house the region’s most disadvantaged children, where they receive free schooling, healthy food, health care and safety. OrphFund is purely volunteer based, so 100% of any donation will reach children living in poverty.

You can donate to OrphFund here

These guys run interactive workshops, called Thumbs Up!, using music and new media to teach children in remote indigenous communities how to make healthy food choices. Poor diet is a whopping great problem in these communities. They also run a mobile dialysis truck in Alice Springs.

You can donate to the Jimmy Little Foundation here

Bush Heritage Australia are doing some brilliant things to secure ecologically-important pockets of land around Australia for the sake of the land and the animals that live off it. The land acquired by them is legally protected from development and other damaging activities. 

You can support Bush Heritage Australia here.

ALNF runs reading and writing programs for all Australians including those in indigenous and refugee communities. 

You can donate to my Wall of Hands here (also via the little orange hand widgety thingy on the right hand side of my site).

The Footpath Library donates books to disadvantaged and homeless people in our community. It operates in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. They’re hoping to expand to Perth in 2013, and have plans to be national by 2014. They also donate woollen beanies, scarves, blankets and socks in Winter.

You can donate money, or books or woollies on the Footpath Library website here.

60 acres on the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria where animals rescued from factory farms can go to live out their days in peace and love. What more do I need to say.

You can donate to Edgar's Mission here.

Also check out my list of eco-friendly/mindful gift ideas along with some special offers!


  1. Nice post of NGOs worth donating to.

  2. Hi Maria, I have read your blog for a while but not pulled my finger out and commented before. This is a great post with some charities I haven't heard of before. You have inspired me to "gently" insist any forthcoming Christmas presents are from an NGO. Navigating the silly season without what feels to me like unnecessary stress and waste is tricky to do without causing offence.

    Love your blog, big thanks!

    1. Thanks so much Mary, glad you left your first comment. I know how tricky it can be, it's tricky with my own extended family! Which is why I'll be posting some eco-friendly material gift ideas next week... to satisfy both sides. Good luck!



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