When it comes to Christmas, we often think of spending time with family, indulging in delicious food and drink, and looking forward to what Santa has left us under the Christmas tree. The hustle and bustle of the festive period can sometimes mean we forget the deep-rooted tradition of giving, which is a huge factor of this holiday. When we think of giving at Christmas, we often imagine sharing gifts with friends and family members that we’ve spent meticulous time picking out just for them.
But, the people who really need the gift of giving extended to them are charities. Over Christmas, people forget about giving to charity as they are solely thinking of buying presents for those close to them. That’s why we’ve found some wonderful charities that need your support, now more than ever. Regardless of how much or little you can afford to donate, giving to charities at Christmas is always appreciated by them as there are so many people in need of help.
Jack and Jill Children's Foundation ‘Find a Diamond Candle’ – RRP €27.50
The much-loved ‘Find a Diamond’ candles from renowned Irish fashion and interiors designers Paul & William Costelloe, have been exclusively created for Jack and Jill. This year there are two new fragrances to choose from – Black Pomegranate or Spiced Mimosa and Orange.
Each candle, produced by Celtic Candles, comes exquisitely presented with a special yuletide treasure of an elegant costume jewellery bracelet in either gold or silver, designed for Jack and Jill by Betty & Biddy (RRP €18). And for one lucky person, a golden ticket moment will lead to a bezel set diamond solitaire necklace on a fine 14k gold chain handmade and kindly donated by Irish jewellery designer Chupi for Jack and Jill. At €27.50 for one candle and €50 for two, this is literally the gift that keeps on giving and such good value with the Betty & Biddy bracelet that retails at €18 in each. Buy here.
Irish Heart Foundation – Irish Heart Pendant RRP €160
We all need strong hearts, physically and emotionally to help us live to the fullest. The Irish Heart Collection created by Irish jewellery designer Garrett Mallon was created to help raise awareness of heart health with a percentage from all sales from the Irish Heart collection going to the Irish Heart Foundation. A way to give back, while supporting heart health and spoiling the lady in your life. The Irish Heart Pendant is made from sterling silver with 18 carat gold vermeil, with a textured and highly polished centre finish. Heart drop earrings and tie pin also featured in the collection. Available here
Avoca Sandalwood Scented Double Wick Candle in aid of The Gavin Glynn Foundation – RRP €29.95
Avoca are very proud to work with The Gavin Glynn Foundation this year, who help families of children battling cancer to travel overseas for treatment that is not available in Ireland. They believe that all children with cancer deserve the best care, wherever in the world that might be. This Christmas, the retailer’s in-house design team have created a beautiful double wick candle as an exclusive charity product. The extra-large candle is delicately scented with sandalwood and available to purchase in all Avoca stores and on their website for €29.95, with 100% of proceeds going directly to The Gavin Glynn Foundation. Buy here.
Aoife Mc Namara X Execute Exist Charity T-Shirt- RRP €80
Irish fashion brand Aoife Mc Namara who takes inspiration from Ireland’s natural beauty has collaborated with Limerick-based design studio Execute Exist to create a hand-printed charity t-shirt designed with a message to protect Irish beaches and oceans. Bringing together great design with a good cause, 10% of the proceeds from the charity t-shirt sales will be donated to Clean Coasts, the non-profit organisation devoted to protecting Ireland's beaches, seas and marine life.
The 70’s style t-shirt features artwork by Greg Hall in Aoife Mc Namara’s signature shade of teal. Inspired by mythology and the Irish coastline, the design features Selkies; mythological beings said to transform from seals to humans to move between sea and land. Each Aoife Mc Namara x Execute Exist Charity T-Shirt is hand printed in Limerick using water-based inks on t-shirts made from undyed 100% organic cotton. The undyed t-shirts reflect the natural oatmeal colour of the cotton plant itself with specks of the original plant still visible. Available to buy in sizes XS TO XXL here.
Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services- Light Up a Life campaign
Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Light Up A Life campaign where they invite people to sponsor a light in memory of a friend or family member. Part of the campaign includes a live concert and remembrance ceremony in Harold’s Cross. This event on Sunday December 4 brings music performances from Brian Kennedy plus many more to the tree lighting ceremony. Attendees can also toast the season with hot apple punch, soup and mince pies or soak up the atmosphere. People can sponsor a light in memory of someone special at a cost of €6 with the option of an additional donation. Lights in honour of loved ones are displayed online with all proceeds supporting Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services. They can be purchased here. Christmas decorations and pins start at just €4. They include beautiful and ornate decorations depicting robins, angels and festive scenes. Buy yours here.
The Gift of Giving with iDonate.ie
With the cost of living affecting families across the country this Christmas, consider giving the gift of a donation to a charity close to your heart instead of a physical gift via Irish fundraising platform, iDonate.ie. Whether it’s donating your €5 Secret Santa gift to a homeless charity or making a €50 donation towards helping children in need, the gift of giving is one Christmas present that is bound to be appreciated by everyone.
iDonate have also launching their ‘Gifts of Impact’ this Christmas, where people can donate to specific charities in lieu of a physical Christmas gift. Supporters will be able to search for their preferred charity on iDonate.ie, visit their cause page and click on a button to purchase a gift donation amount of either €25, €50 or €100 – and the donor will receive a Christmas themed gift certificate by email after they make the donation. For more information, visit www.idonate.ie.
Green Dot’s ‘Little House’ Candle Holder in aid of Focus Ireland- RRP €15
Green Dot wanted to create something to help Focus Ireland who work with people that are homeless or in a precarious housing situation. That’s why they developed and made a sweet candle holder, ‘Little House’, from jesmonite clay in the shape of a house. The candle holders have been carefully made in their Clonakilty studio with the hope that one day, everyone will have a safe and secure place to call home. €5 from each candle holder sold is going directly to Focus Ireland to support them with their invaluable and essential work. Visit the shop at 15 Ashe St., Clonakilty or buy here.
Concern- Farming, Family, Animals, Climate and Education Gifts
There are 28 individual gifts and two bundles to choose from, ranging in price from €10 for avocado trees or a mosquito net to €500 for a solar panel. For less than a high-spec television, you can get a well that can provide safe water for an entire village at a cost of €1,400. Gifts are broken into five categories; farming, family, animals, climate and education so there’s something to appeal to every interest.
A Period Power gift, for €30, helps girls learn how to make and use their own sanitary pads so they never have to miss school again because of their period. One in 10 schoolgirls in Sub-Saharan Africa miss school because of their period. There is also a Life-Changing Livelihood gift that can provide someone with a six-month apprenticeship to allow them to learn the skills which can help them earn an income for €230. There is a Climate-Smart Farming kit gift available, priced for €105, which includes all the tools and training farmers need for climate-smart farming techniques, along with drought-resistant vegetable seeds too.
For just €68 you can get a bicycle, eco stove, and solar light as part of Concern’s Climate-Conscious Christmas bundle. A bike can help communities get to a hospital or transport goods to be sold at local markets. The eco-stove uses less wood than other methods, protecting the environment. The solar light allows families to study, work or feel safe when it turns dark. A goat, costing €40, provides soil-boosting manure to help fertilise crops. They are also a great source of protein rich milk which is vital for growing children. Buy Concern’s life changing gifts here.
Circle K Christmas Cards in aid of Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation- RRP €7
With Christmas approaching, Circle K is selling an exclusive range of Christmas cards, beautifully illustrated by renowned Irish designer Laura Dempsey (AKA ‘Pickled Pom Pom’). All proceeds from the sale of the special home-themed Christmas cards will go towards the retailer’s charity partner, the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, and for every pack sold in a Circle K store, the retailer will donate an extra €1 to Jack and Jill. The cards will be sold in a pack of 12 for €7 and will be available to purchase in Circle K locations nationwide, in Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation Charity Boutiques nationwide and here.
Dublin Simon Community The Busk Record- RRP €27.95
Dublin Simon Community and Collective Films recorded The Busk in St. Patrick’s Cathedral with some of Ireland’s biggest names like Bono, Glen Hansard, Lisa O’Neill and Damien Rice. The vinyl record is a double-sided 140g vinyl made from zero waste ecomix recycled PVC with a gloss finish 505 micron PEFC certified board sleeve. The record sale proceeds will go to Dublin Simon Community to help raise funds to aid the charity and support the record-high number of people experiencing homelessness this year. Presale registration is available now here and the Vinyl will be available to purchase online and in store from Golden Discs from December 9.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Gift of Choice Voucher Appeal
SVP have set up the Gift of Choice appeal to help ensure families have the means to choose what they need this Christmas. Be it a toy under the tree or a festive Christmas dinner, SVP makes sure donations reach a good home in time for Christmas. The Me2You gift card is accepted in a wide variety of retailers like Tesco, Penneys, Smyths, Boots and Woodie’s as well as many more shops, meaning the person who receives the voucher can choose their perfect gift this Christmas. Buy your voucher here.
UNICEF’s Three Wise Gifts Collection- RRP from €30
For those looking for an alternative to run of the mill gifting options this Christmas, UNICEF Ireland offers people a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable children across the world. UNICEF’s Three Wise Gifts options are real products, packed full of medical, educational and other supplies, that will be sent to children and their families facing war, hunger, disease and harsh climates this Christmas. Buy here.
Gift 1: A Chritsmas gift for a child- €30
This special gift will provide 10 notebooks and 10 pencils for writing, drawing and learning, 25 sachets of emergency food and a thermal winter blanket for cold nights.
GIFT 2: Hunger Survival Kit for Children- €50
This powerful life-saving kit will provide malnourished children in Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen and around the world with 85 bags of micronutrient powder, 4 packs of therapeutic milk, 28 bags of emergency food, 5 packs of high energy biscuits fortified with vitamins and 70 sachets of oral rehydration salts. Also included are 70 child malnutrition tests.
GIFT 3: Safety and warmth package for children caught in conflict- €90
With this kit, six children can be kept safe with 36 sachets of emergency food and 6 packs of high energy biscuits, 9 bags of oral rehydration salt, 30 doses of Measles vaccine, 45 doses of Polio vaccine, 3 thermal blankets and three teddy bears for comfort.
Climeworks Gift of Climate Impact
Climeworks’ gift allows people to capture CO2 directly from the air and store it permanently underground, helping fight the biggest challenge we are facing today, climate change. Every euro spent removes 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. For context, 50kg is equivalent to 1.5K plastic bags! Solely powered by renewable energy, and digitally sent across the world, it is the perfect gift to buy in one-click, wherever and whenever. Buy yours here.
Santas Letters in aid of Barnardos, Ronald McDonald House & Children's Health Foundation At Crumlin Children’s Hospital- RRP €5
Children now have the opportunity to send Santa a digital letter, and get a number of personalised responses, thanks to Santa’s Letters. This interactive digital experience allows parents and children to make a real difference to the lives of others this Christmas through its charity partnerships with Barnardos, Ronald McDonald House and Children's Health Foundation At Crumlin Children’s Hospital. With the help of grown-ups, children can send their digital Christmas wishlist to Santa online. Each child will then receive a number of personalised responses from the man himself. They will also be sent a video showing what Santa and Rudolf get up to in the North Pole. 50% of profits will be donated to the chosen charities. Send your digital letter here.
McDonald’s Santa Hat Campaign in aid of Ronald McDonald House Charities- RRP €2
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC Ireland) have launched its annual Santa Hat campaign. The RMHC Ireland Santa Hats will be €2 per hat and will be available in all 94 McDonald’s locations in Ireland. The fundraising campaign has been running for over 10 years and has raised over €1.2 million for the charity to date. RMHC Ireland provides accommodation and a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment at Children’s Health Ireland, Crumlin. Pick up your Santa hat at your local McDonald’s.
Plan International helping children affected by Java Earthquake
After the devastating 5.6 magnitude earthquake that hit Cianjur town in West Java this month, many children have been killed and injured. Thousands have been left homeless and it is vital they get the help they need through hygiene kits, health packages, food and water. Plan International is urging for support to ensure schools and community buildings in areas vulnerable to disasters are resistant to earthquakes, floods and other hazards. Donate to this worthwhile cause here.