It's that time of year again - Christmas trees are going up and everyone's getting ready for the holidays. And with that comes gifting and presents. Gifting can bring great joy and we can stretch that cheer even further by donating to charities, community groups and causes we really believe in in the name of others, for gifts.
Two important reasons you should consider donating to a cause this year:
1. Many charity events had to be cancelled in 2020 and these organisations could really do with your support.
Due to COVID-19 so many charities and organisations, that depend on contributions to operate, had to cancel or scale down their major fundraisers in 2020 and they are in desperate need of donations to continue their important work. Mental Health Charities have been called upon greatly this year with increased numbers of people experiencing anxiety and depression because of COVID. Other organisations with increased needs this year are ones that provide food and shelter; medical and scientific research and bushfire and disaster relief.
2. Donating to a charity and buying less "stuff" is a gift to the environment.
When you donate to a cause instead of buying "stuff" it is such an impactful action for the chosen charity and the environment. We struggle to think of gift ideas and sometimes end up with something not needed. This is often the case with Secret Santa where you end up buying something for the sake of it. Instead of a gift, choose a cause to donate to, on behalf of your recipient. Try to choose a charity that is meaningful to the person receiving your gift and one that will create a lasting impact in the community. Alternatively, if you want to buy gifts, look at buying from organisations doing good, where your money can make a difference. Encourage friends and family to do the same.
A few suggestions:
There are so many charities and organisations worthy of mentioning that it feels almost wrong to include a small selection. Research local charities doing great work where you live to donate to this holiday season.
Solar Sister trains and supports women to deliver clean energy directly to homes in rural African communities. They believe everyone should have access to clean energy and they believe women are a key part of the solution. They invest in women's enterprise in off-grid communities to grow the clean energy sector. Centring local women in a rapidly growing clean energy sector is essential to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable solutions to climate change and a host of development issues.
It's important to remember intersectionality that identifies the intersection of different kinds of oppression like race, class and gender in climate injustice. The Intersectional Environmentalist is a platform for "resources, information and action steps to support intersectional environmentalism and dismantle systems of oppression in the environmental movement, led by environmental activist and sustainability advocates".
Sistas and Salt is an amazing organisation run by Rhiannon, a First Nation woman from the Mununjali people of Beaudesert, living and running Sistas and Salt on the Coffs Coast in NSW.Sistas and Salt runs workshops and mentoring for Indigenous women and youth in ocean conservation, culture and wellbeing. Rhiannon also started an Indigenous girls ocean conservation group, Saltwater Sistas, who do beach cleans, raise awareness for ocean conservation and learn from Elders and other ocean warriors
2020 has seen catastrophic wildfires in California and bushfires across Australia. Firesticks is providing Indigenous leadership, advocacy and action to protect Country through cultural fire and land management practices.
1 Million Women (that's us)
WE are building a lifestyle revolution to fight the climate crisis. We are a movement of women and girls fighting for climate justice and cutting CO2 emissions through the way that we live. Our mission is to empower women to create real change within their daily lives and inspire people around them.
The global impact of COVID-19 on mental health has been immense. Donate to the Black Dog Institute or a mental health organisation like Sydney's One Eighty Inc doing great work in your community.
By Allison Licence
Allison Licence is a Sydney-based freelance writer and 1 Million Women volunteer who is passionate about the environment and finding ways to live more sustainably.