The festive season is upon us – WUHUUU! I love December – winters set in, every one is jolly, hot chocolate and mulled wine season and Christmas. I love Christmas mainly because I have such happy memories from childhood of Christmas. My dad surprising us with gifts (fooling us into believing they were from Santa Claus) as well as all the gala celebrations we’d have in my Catholic school. While we are all happy and celebrating – there are a lot of people who don’t enough and need our help. While we celebrate, let us also spread some cheer to others who aren’t as fortunate by giving to good causes. This post is inspired by my darling friend, Libby’s post.
Here are some causes that I have supported that you can also support in ‘the season of giving’ –
- Goonj – I heard of Goonj for the first time during the first lockdown when they started an initiative to support migrant workers (daily wagers) stuck without any financial support. Since then I’ve been trying to donate a little to their cause. They accept material as well as money donations. They have collection drives across major metro cities and have one currently going on in Delhi for winter wear.
- Aseema Foundation– again, another foundation I got to know of during the lockdown. They work with the children from economically backward families providing them opportunities to them such as education, jobs etc. You can support them by donating or buying from their product range.
- The Akshaya Patra Foundation – I started supporting this cause 4 years back, while at my previous organization since they had an internal tie-up with this cause. Akshaya Patra Foundation serves mid-day meals to kids in government schools and government aided schools. They aim to counter malnutrition amongst children from economically backward families.
- ORGAN India – This one costs NO money but sign a pledge to donate your organs whenever you pass on. There are so many people on organ waiting lists, you might just help them with a second life. (Signing up doesn’t mean it is legally binding, your next of kin can choose not to donate on your passing but it makes sense to get them on board with the donation.)
- Tip or gift those around you that help you – in my old organization there was a rule against tipping the support staff (pantry boys, guards, cleaners etc.). So instead a day before Christmas – I used to get a bunch of different treats and make small packs and then go around giving them to all the support staff including the building guards. The shock and happiness – would make me feel so good. Tip or gift to those who silently work to make your life better.
- Donate your old winter wear – If you live in and around North India (or any cold place), you know how harsh the winters can get. Get your family together and go through all your winter wear as well as blankets and donate what you don’t need to those who need them – any beggars or homeless people that you see on the streets.
- Afghan Aid – this is an international one. The Afghan issue seems to have lost its importance (again). People across Afghanistan need help – more than half of Afghanistan’s population will face acute food shortage this winter. If you can, please donate to Afghan Aid – they are back on their feet and already working on helping those who need help in Afghanistan.
- Belly Bubs – another organization that I am personally connected with. They are a small group of students who’ve come together to look after all the stray dogs on their campus in NCR. They ensure they are fed every day, their medical necessities are met and their overall well-being is taken care of. They foot most of the bills themselves and need support of any kind.
- SankalpTaru Foundation – is an IT enabled NGO, spreading greenery with its core philosophy of “planting trees for the people, by the people”. Having rooted and survived close to a million trees across 21 states and some of the majorly polluted cities of India. You can donate to their various initiatives across India where they are planting trees. This cause will benefit you and your future generations in the long run.
- Buy a hot meal for someone in need – With winters setting in, a lot of people in need could do with a hot meal. So the next time you see a homeless person or a person in need – buy them a fresh, hot meal.
- Buy a drink for the person next in line in the coffee shop – these past 2 years have been hard on a lot of us. So many people are struggling with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. The next time you are at a coffee shop or restaurant – pick someone else’s tab just as a fun way of doing something good for a random stranger.
Lets usher in the festive season by helping someone in need out. I’ve tried to pick an array of causes to help you find one that you can connect with. What are some causes that you support? Since a lot of these causes are India based, if there are causes that you support in your country – share their names in the comments.
Let us spread some cheer this festive season!
PS: Please only give what is in your means. Don’t go into debt buying Christmas gifts.
If you haven’t already, check out my other recent posts –