• Papua New Guinea (PNG) has one of the highest rates of maternal and newborn deaths in the Asia Pacific. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Avoid buying extra junk for your loved ones and opt for Christmas Gifts with the feel-good factor.
Shannon McKeogh

12 Dec 2016 - 1:16 PM  UPDATED 12 Dec 2016 - 1:20 PM

Buying Christmas presents for your nearest and dearests should be about bringing out the warm and fuzzies, and showing your love for them in material form.

But let’s face it: many people in our developed world already have enough stuff. And too much stuff is stressful, wasteful and can be a potential fire and tripping hazard.

So what can you gift your love ones without damaging shins and pushing them into hoarding territory? The good news is there are many unique and quirky presents that have the feel-good factor and helps the world to become a better, and less cluttered, place. 

  1. Bring a child into the world (safely) – Birthing Kit

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has one of the highest rates of maternal and newborn deaths in the Asia Pacific.

Through the ‘Gifts for Good’ project from non-profit organisation, Child Fund, you can purchase a birthing kit online for $79, which will get sent straight to a woman in need.

The kit aims to make a little human’s journey into the world cleaner and safer by providing women with the tools necessary to help prevent infections and complications during birth.

  1. Two hour cuddles with a rescue dog or cat

Hunter Animal Rescue in Newcastle is offering one-on-one cuddling time with their rescued fur babies through the organisation’s ‘Christmas Campaign Cuddles’ program.

For $50 the receiver of this gift can enjoy the temporary but priceless love of a new dog or cat friend.

All proceeds will go towards the upkeep and care of finding new homes for the abandoned pets.

  1. Help a woman start a small business – starter kit

Care Australia is big on giving people the resources they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

This $100 business starter kit can help women living in poverty around the world to start their own business.

The kit gives the recipient the first step to pursue their dream of earning an income to support their family.

  1. A crap gift unlike any other - Pig manure

Oxfam promises this is “the best crap gift you’ll ever buy” and for $15, you’re guaranteed a crap-load of puns to laugh at and a thumbs-up for social impact.

While the gift of pig manure may be a present that we might turn our noses up at, in Vietnam it is increasingly valuable.

That’s because the pig poop being donated through this non-profit program is converted into energy to light up homes and help people gain employment. It’s good crap.

  1. A myki card to get someone safely home

Having additional funds to pay for transport can mean a lot to people who struggle to make ends meet or battle addiction and mental health issues.

A myki card (Melbourne-based travel card) loaded with $40 credit, purchased through First Step and the Karma Currency Foundation, can provide a person in need with a financial break.

It allows a person with mental health or addiction concerns to travel to and from their medical appointments without having to worry about the cost of getting there.

Having additional funds to pay for transport can mean a lot to people who struggle to make ends meet or battle addiction and mental health issues. 

  1. Power powder sachets that pack a punch

This $25 gift through UNICEF Australia buys 600 power sachets for malnourished kids living across the globe. These nifty little sachets can be sprinkled on any food and give infants a boost of vital vitamins and minerals to get them through the day.

  1. 40 nappies for parents seeking asylum

Nappies are a necessary and expensive evil. For parents newly arrived in Australia with little or unreliable income it can be tricky to buy these bare-bum covering essentials. Purchased through the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, this $9 donation will go towards buying 40 nappies for a newly arrived baby or toddler.

  1. Send a girl to school

Care Australia recognises that 31 million primary school aged girls are out of school around the world.

So it’s created a gift package where a $75 donation will provide girls in receipt of Care Australia services with the equipment needed to enable her to attend one year of schooling and help improve her future.

3 ways to lift global communities out of poverty
Poverty is solvable. In fact, it's currently being eradicated in disadvantaged communities around the world. It’s just happening so slowly that you may not be able to see it.

  1. Give some socks and undies

The favourite go-to gift from your parents is also a favourite for Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre. The money raised through the sale of a $13 socks and underwear gift pack will go to children who have escaped family violence with just the clothes they are wearing.

  1. Make a new friend – sponsor an animal

Brigitte Baardot and Pablo Pigcasso want to be your friend. Little Oak Sanctuary in Goulburn, NSW, is home to 100 farmed animals which have been abused, abandoned and neglected. For a $50 sponsorship fee, you can help care for a newly adopted animal.

The money donated will towards food and vet fees. In return, you will receive a photo of your animal friend, their story and a warm glow of goodness.


Love the story? Follow the author here: Twitter @shannylm and Facebook @shannonmckeoghfreelance

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