Every December in the Western world, something crazy happens around this time of year. People flock to shopping centres and department stores in order to purchase that much-anticipated gift for that special someone. If anyone else is like me, I have a ridiculously hard time thinking of what that person could possibly want. That’s because, with the exception of the odd pair of wool socks, as an individual, I personally am in need of very little, and I’m willing to bet that most others are too, whether they realise it or not.
So this Christmas, I decided to do things a little differently. By purchasing practical, ethical and sustainable gifts through Oxfam’s ‘Unwrapped’ campaign. Things that people need, for individuals who are actually in need of them.
Over the course of the past week, members of our university Oxfam group have been helping to bring the Unwrapped campaign to Queen’s campus. We took it upon ourselves to help sell gift donations that go to people in developing countries.
Unwrapped is an alternative giving programme that sells life-changing gifts, which help people in developing countries gain greater self-sufficiency. Whether it is a chicken, clean water, or a fair day’s pay, the gifts provide valuable resources to the people in need of them most. So rather than cluttering our houses with even more ‘stuff’ why not give to those who need it most? It really is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only do we the purchasers feel good about ourselves, but also it certainly helps out those in need.
What’s even better? Chickens only come in one size; so really, it’s a gift that’s fit for anybody! Rather than taking a risk and buying that may-or-may-not fit, medium-sized, cashmere sweater, buy something that anyone can wear, like a mosquito net!
Having lived and worked with people in one of the countries that receives some of these gifts, I can honestly say, that these small things can make a huge difference in their way of life. We as individuals have lost our sense of what it truly means to give. So this holiday season, why not do things a little differently, and give to those who need it most.
You can read more about Oxfam’s Unwrapped campaign here: