Christine Allen, CAFOD’s Director, picks out some of her favourite World Gifts and explains why they’re a great way to give this Christmas.
It’s that time of year already, when thoughts go towards Christmas shopping. It’s always a challenge to find the right gift for people, especially as I don’t want to be wasteful.
At the moment because of the lockdown, my Christmas shopping is limited to online, but even though I miss wandering round shops (well my daughter does) being online does provide some opportunities. I recently ordered my Christmas cards from Traidcraft and am busy looking through the CAFOD World Gifts catalogue. There are a few new things in there to choose from!
I’m sure, like me, you have been struck by the kindness shown in our local parishes – my parish is doing weekly food distribution and our gang of volunteers are reaching out to people who are vulnerable or in need in so many ways. It’s just what many of CAFOD’s partners around the world are doing throughout this pandemic – such as Caritas Jerusalem and Caritas Lebanon distributing food to most in need in their communities.
In this pandemic, despite the many challenges, we have experienced huge amounts of solidarity and practical support for so many people. Cardinal Tagle, the President of the global Caritas family (Internationalis), calls it “an infection of love” – I hope that this Christmas you will know you are spreading the love using World Gifts!
What are World Gifts?
World Gifts showcase just some of the ways we are helping those living in poverty all over the world, with each gift a very real example of support we give to those most in need. Not only are they a great way of charitable giving, they have something for everyone!
Everyone knows I’m a die-hard Liverpool football fan, as are the rest of my family. For that reason, top of my Christmas giving and receiving list is Fabulous football! This gift provides kits, footballs and training to provide community teams with everything they need. Particularly in poor urban areas, football can provide a positive alternative to drugs and crime.
Although Liverpool Women’s football club has a way to go before they catch up with the men’s side, in terms of silverware , I love how much airtime women’s football is now being given. It certainly feels like a step in the right direction towards equality in sports. I’m a proud advocate of women’s rights, and feel privileged to be working here at CAFOD, a charity founded by a group of forward-thinking women.
Help a family feel safe to leave their home
This year World Gifts have introduced a new gift, the Keep clean kit. This gift can provide a family with five reusable facemasks, soap and washing detergent. This gives families the confidence to leave the house to work, buy food and more.
It’s easy to take for granted access to these simple items, but imagine feeling trapped in your home without access to them?
As a mum, it’s hard to imagine my daughter not having the same opportunities as the other children around her, or for me to have to choose between feeding her or giving her an education. But for so many around the world this is a real choice.
A School starter pack helps to provide a child with everything they need to go to school. From textbooks and stationery, to school uniforms and backpacks, this gift sets a child up with the essentials to get a full education. Often these simple items can be too expensive for families and the children can’t go to school.
I hope by buying this gift I’ll help someone access the same opportunities as my daughter, something we’re lucky enough to take for granted here in the UK.
Last, but not least, what shouts Christmas more than delicious treats? As well as the incredible charity gifts, World Gifts also offers Divine Fairtrade chocolate coins (milk for the kids, dark for the adults!).
These make perfect stocking fillers and all proceeds still support our work here at CAFOD.
So, whatever takes your fancy, be it a Goat that gives, a Sewing kit or Water for a family, I’d highly recommend World Gifts as your first choice for Christmas presents this year. All your purchases can be completed from the luxury of your own home too.