Four favourite gifts that give back

By Catherine Smith

We love to save our feet from hours of Christmas shopping, save the planet from stuff nobody wants, and show the people we love how kind we are. Catherine Smith shares four of her favourite gifts that give back.
Pick a quirky gift to give from the Oxfam Unwrapped collection.
Pick a quirky gift to give from the Oxfam Unwrapped collection.

1. Patients is a virtue

Renaissance man, All Black Keven Mealamu has illustrated the cute kids' story book Room 23 and Mysterious Miss P and Five More Fantastic Stories. Grace Michie from Pukekohe intermediate school and five other young authors from the Barfoot
and Thompson Young Authors challenge are selling their work for the Starship
Foundation (and the book is also given to patients in the hospital). And, enterprising young cancer survivor Ruby Seeto has raised more than $200,000 designing fundraising tea towels for Starship. Stock up on this year's teatowel featuring a delicious berry smoothie recipe - $6 from every teatowel sold will go to Starship.

Room 23 and the Mysterious Miss P and Five more Fantastic stories, illustrated by All Black Keven Mealamu.
Room 23 and the Mysterious Miss P and Five more Fantastic stories, illustrated by All Black Keven Mealamu.

Details: Buy the book online at www.barfoot.co.nz/ and find the teatowel online here for $10.

2. Help make kids with cancer smile

Christmas for families living with child cancer can be more than stressful, which is where the Child Cancer Foundation is a huge help. You can help families share their
Christmas wishes with gifts of beads of courage, grocery vouchers, camps, personal
development grants and Christmas hampers.

Details: Visit the website here.

3. Goats, pigs and a pile of poo

Any kid would love to see a bike under the tree for the holidays. But some would be pretty chuffed with a donkey. Or even chickens. We love how you can give someone a present to make them smile and help world poverty. Buy a bike for a kid from Childfund and it could change their life ($213). Or our annual Oxfam Unwrapped favourites - a goat to feed a family ($47), back to school trades training ($42) or our cutest stocking stuffer, peanuts to help young farmers gain organic certification ($10). Perhaps your boss deserves a pile of poo - no crappy gift this, but a load of manure for organic crops ($20).

Details: Visit childfund and Oxfam Unwrapped.

4. Give and receive

MOTAT annual charity drive is fun for your kids to understand 'Give and You Shall Receive'. Until December 24 you can donate a Christmas present from the gift
shop at MOTAT instead of paying admission. Last year, more than 6,000 gifts were
donated to the Auckland City Mission and Variety The Children's Charity. Or head to Silo Park at the Waterfront to make your Angel Wishes for Auckland City Mission - tie your wishes to the tree to make a donation to Auckland City Mission.

Details: Check out Motat website and for more on what's happening around the Auckland waterfront go here.

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