Season of Giving
December is the season of giving gifts and spending money — sometimes money you don’t have on things your loved ones don’t quite need!
If you have got cash to splash, doesn't it resonate with your Christmas spirit to be giving to those that do need help, especially at Christmas?
Charitable Secret Santa
For the past four years, our family Secret Santa has been organised as so that all presents are a charitable donation of $20 or more to a charity that the receiver would appreciate. This is something I get super into. I often get carried away and “buy” a present for everyone — not just my Secret Santa!
It took a little bit of coaxing, but these days the whole family is enthusiastic about this style of gift-giving, and we all have fun getting creative. My mother-in-law, for example, is a strong, independent woman, so I donate on her behalf to the Black Mambas, an all-female anti-poaching unit in Africa!
If you're stuck for ideas and think this is your type of gift-giving, here’s a list of some of my favourite wildlife charities. The first four are current SunButter charitable partners who receive 10 per cent of our profits between them.
I’d love to hear your favourites!
There was a study released recently that showed that the removal of invasive species from a remote island can save ten percent of the world’s biodiversity, which makes this the most bang-for-your-conservation-buck available! These guys eradicate invasive flora and fauna to let the natives thrive, and the knock-on effects for a healthy island ecosystem are incredible, too.
2. Project Hiu
Set up by Madison “shark girl” Stewart, this organisation works to lead shark fishing villages in Lombok indonesia away from fishing sharks and into sustainable tourism. It emphasises that shark fisherman are people too, and that they are only fishing sharks so they can feed their families. The work Madi does is incredible and well worth supporting.
The Thin Green Line works with rangers and anti-poaching units all over the world, providing training and essentials to locals so the future of wildlife and national park protection can be sustainable! They work in some of the most precious ecosystems and safeguard some of the most endangered species on the planet.
These guys buy back rural blocks that were carved out of the Daintree Rainforest. To date, they’ve helped buy back more than 40 properties of pristine vegetation for national park protection. The Daintree is the world’s oldest rainforest and is home to incredibly rare flora and fauna such as the Cassowary and Tree Kangaroos. This vital work will help stop development and increase protection in the Daintree.
If you haven’t read a Gerald Durrell book, I strongly encourage it. The hilarious and fascinating zoologist created this foundation to work with critically-endangered species — often the ones that don’t receive enough love. Their project around the world has helped save species such as the Mauritian Pink Pigeon and Himalayan Pygmy Hog from extinction. They also do great work to re-wild and conserve habitat while engaging local populations to assist.
5. Local conservation initiatives such as: Stop Adani, Fight for the Bight, Protect Ningaloo, Keep Tassie Wild, Save Westernport
Around the world we are fighting for our wild spaces and our wildlife. There are a number of amazing organisations like the ones listed who are doing tireless work to save some of Australia’s most magical places and therefore the wildlife that calls them home. Donations of time and money are greatly appreciated. I’ve listed just a few for Australia but there are bound to be organisations near you. Even local land care of wildlife rehab groups are fantastic.
The AMCS does work all over Australia protecting, preserving and raising awareness of the plight of our marine environment. They also work hard with scientists and politicians to protect ecosystems and make safe choices for wildlife. They also have a great gift shop if you’d like to gift a physical present this Christmas while donating to a worthy cause!
Make your dollars do-gooders and make a change this Christmas!