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‘Tis the season for philanthropic cohesion

image001As an arthritic 2009 limps to a close, Christmas and all its associated festive cheer looms ominously.

And the perennial question of what to give the people you want to suck up to remains pertinent. The answer, of course, is a goat. Or a chicken. Or a cow. Or even a wish.

It’s the fourth year of ChildFund’s popular Christmas Gifts that Grow catalogue and, while chickens have been the order or the day over the last three years, ChildFund is tapping into New Zealand’s dairy heritage and pushing $100 cows as the “hero-product” this year.

Instead of sending your clients, partners, family or friends another novelty clock, some undies or a box of old Sampler biscuits, ChildFund want people to steer clear of rampant, pointless consumerism this Christmas and give more practical gifts that can help children break free from poverty.

New Zealanders have certainly embraced the trend of giving animals as gifts (perhaps due to a combination of comedy value and warm fuzzies) and, to date, given 40,000 hens, roosters and baby chicks, 3,500 goats, 569 cows and 41 turkeys to impoverished families through the Gifts the Grow catalogue.

If you’re not into sending beasts overseas, there are many other helpful options, such as baby food, garden hoes, an orchard, or a school back pack of 12 reading books.

Oxfam, WorldVision, The Leprosy Mission, Trade Aid and a few other charities run similar schemes.

colour-elf-235x300Givealittle.co.nz is also spreading the love this Christmas. And it’s aiming to enlist a crack team of elves to do the spreading.

The Givealittle Christmas Wish website will soon be launched and on it will be loads of Christmas wishes that have been placed by charities, good causes and individuals. Anyone can add their own wish to the list.

Then, the Givealittle Elves, whether online, offline or both, will grant those wishes. So, if you want to make a few dreams come true, choose the amount you want to give and the number of wishes you want to grant. Contact elf@givealittle.co.nz for more info.

The Chief Givealittle Elf appears to be quite tech-savvy, so you’ll be able to check on progress and get wish inspiration at Twitter (@givealittle_elf), Facebook (Givealittle Christmas Elf page), YouTube and Flickr.

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