We buy all year round, but at Christmas, we shop extra hard. An ITI news article in June suggested that shopping is the religion of the modern world, with brands the altars of worship and malls the cathedrals. If this is true, then December 25 is the holy day, the feast of all spenders, celebrated with an orgy of credit. Are there ways to celebrate the giving season that don’t involve rampant consumerism?
Easy credit has created a generation of debt junkies and in the current economic climate, we are beginning to realise that 'disposable income' may be a misleading term. To get through the global financial crisis, we clearly need to find a way to make consumerism work for the greater good – and not just add to greater debt. This doesn't mean we can't enjoy giving at Christmas, it just means we should look at investing in something more sustainable.
Have yourself an alternative Christmas
GreaterGood SA's Make Christmas Matter campaign makes Christmas shopping easy as well as meaningful. All of the gifts support carefully selected projects that work towards the eradication of poverty in South Africa. Make Christmas Matter uses GreaterGood’s intensive assessment process to choose the projects that will benefit. Our team conducts peer review panels, site visits, risk assessments, research and evaluation to make sure that your money goes where it should.
Give all year round
If Christmas is not your thing, there’s Gifts4Good – an online gift shop with a difference. This is how it works:
Make your budget matter
This year, budgeting could be a joy instead of a drag: talk to us about allocating your Corporate Social Responsibility budget to projects that will have a measurable, meaningful impact on the lives of poor South Africans. Contact our CSI Services team
The family that gives together, stays together. So get together and start your own family Giving Foundation: it's a personalised charitable fund which you name and manage online. Or spend some quality time with your children by making and giving away our specially-created Make Christmas Matter coconut cookies.
Everyone has something to give
Don't have a lot of spare cash to give this year? Everyone has something to give and every contribution makes a difference. Offer your time, skills or second hand goods to a GreaterGood-registered cause this festive season.
If greed is dead and giving hand ups, rather than handouts, is the way to go, we need to make our giving season really meaningful this year. Now, more than ever, is the time to rely on our own efforts to uplift communities in South Africa.
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