Known as the season for giving, Christmas is the most important time in the calendar for many charities to receive donations. Dragonfly love to support the charity sector in every way possible. So, in honour of #UKCharityWeek, we thought it would be apt to put together a list of charities to consider supporting this Christmas.
With Extinction Rebellion on every corner and Greta Thunberg nominated for a Nobel Prize, global warming and carbon footprints are on everybody’s mind. We pride ourselves at Dragonfly for being an eco-conscious company. Many of us were taught to recycle because of the misperception that paper kills trees. While recycling is a great value to instil, it’s taking a lot to reverse the misinformation surrounding paper’s environmental impact. Paper is one of the only truly sustainable media forms out there, which is one reason we’re so dedicated to it. There are many environmentally focused charities out there too, so it’s easy to find one that means a lot to you. Want to protect our seas and oceans? Consider donating to SeaLegacy. Have a soft spot for polar bears? Check out the WWF’s ‘Adopt a Polar Bear‘ campaign. Coral reefs? There’s the Reef-World Foundation. Replanting trees? Plant one with World Land Trust!
Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, there’s an animal charity for you. Cats Protection is a great UK wide charity who help rescue and rehome cats and kittens. Closer to home for us is the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home that rehomes and cares for homeless animals in the Lothian areas. On top of animal shelters, there are so many charities who work with big animal welfare issues. For example, issues of captivity, big game hunting, poaching and more. It’s easy to find one that tugs at your heartstrings. One of our favourites campaigns to keep track of this year was #LionsofLyon. It was an effort made by the Born Free Foundation, where they rehomed four lions from horrible conditions in France to a big cat sanctuary in Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa.
Poverty in the UK
When we think of charities to support at Christmas, our minds often jump to larger charities like UNICEF. The big names that fundraise to combat poverty and famine around the world. While we’ve been pointing out some types of charities that focus on other issues, it’s important to remember traditional ones that target issues of poverty. There are a lot of charities that fundraise to fight poverty. So if you’d like to make things more personal, consider one that focuses on poverty in your local area. Donate to, or volunteer at a local shelter. In Edinburgh, we have charities like Streetwork and Homeless Action Scotland which both focus on combating homelessness.
Charities devoted to children
Children can sometimes find themselves in a vulnerable place without the support or understanding they need to get out of that position. Almost everyone knows a child that means a lot to them. So you can understand why charities that are dedicated to protecting and defending the rights of children are worth supporting. Our CEO Vicky is going so far as to trek in the Arctic in support of Children1st, a local Scottish charity focused on advocating for children. In part, she was motivated because of her own children and the knowledge that her sons are afforded many privileges that others can’t access. Supporting Children1st helps even that gap by advocating for Scottish children and giving them a reason to smile again.
Illnesses effect everyone, and Christmas can be a difficult time of the year for those who are dealing with an illness in the family. Charities that are dedicated to illnesses come in all shapes and sizes. In some cases, they use donations to try finding cures. In others, they use them to help support people dealing with that illness. Consider the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which raised over $115 million in eight weeks alone. Those donations went on to fund nine global research collaborations that resulted in two new antisense drugs going to trial. Sometimes people think that donations to charities which focus on illnesses make little to no impact on advancing new research, but the Ice Bucket Challenge is proof that this isn’t true. Consider donating to a charity that focuses on an illness that has touched your life.
Charities that make life easier…
…For those in old age or living with a disability. Some charities, like Abbeyfield, are dedicated to sheltering and caring for elderly people. Other charities use donations to provide hearing aids and other accessibility tools. Or, to create activities and communities to combat loneliness in old age. There are many local charities that run programs like Age U.K.’s befriending service which combats loneliness by matching the elderly with youths. Similarly, there are many charities that make life easier for those living with disabilities by providing services and raising awareness. These charities advocate for changes to be made to make the world more accessible for those living with disabilities and often create a community full of support and services for them.
If you’re really stuck for charities to donate to, just think of the many charity shops you see. There’s Shelter, the Salvation Army, Oxfam and Save the Children, to name a few. If you’re not in a financial position to donate, maybe it’s time to clear out your wardrobe and donate the things you love but don’t wear. Or, consider volunteering with a local charity. There are so many paths to supporting charities! You’ll always be able to find one that suits you.