To make a gift, everyone can do it, and it is for the good cause. It avoids creating more waste in this world of overproduction. Without spending a dime, we can create happiness.
With Christmas fast approaching, I am using this opportunity to address this subject, because Christmas is the perfect time to give to a good cause. Christmas is supposed to be a time for sharing and warmth. Unfortunately, nowadays most of us give gifts because we have to, even though most of them will end up either on ebay or in the trash, so this year, let’s think about gifts that warm the heart!
How does one do a gift? Look at what you have at home that you do not use, all those things that you accumulate and do not know what to do with. Gather them, and give them.
I dedicate this article to all the bloggers, journalists, and models who are spoiled by brands. I know what I am talking about. Because when we are “influencers”, brands do not hesitate to offer us a bunch of stuff, often even too much. You ask a cosmetics brand to test only one of their products, and they send you the whole range.
So yes, it’s cool to be spoiled, I’m not going to deny that. However, there comes a time when we have more shower gel than necessary. Most bloggers sell it online, or organize private sales…oh well, to each his own. But hey, it’s a gift that is supposed to be fun, so redistribute it and continue to generate happiness. At the end of the day, generosity has never hurt anyone.
1 – The gift of clothes
This is the most common gift, the one that is the easiest to give. We take from our closet the clothes we no longer wear, and we give them away. This action is facilitated by the large number of donations bins that can be found at all our street corners to collect them. Unfortunately, these bins are often looted by Roms, and we also don’t know a lot about the associations that collect and distribute the clothes we donate here.
Look for associations in your neighborhood, and drop your clothes off directly with them. This way, at least you can be certain that the clothes will end up where they are supposed to go.
If you have warm clothes and clean socks, try to find associations that care for those who sleep outside.
The most famous association is Emmaus, which can be found everywhere in France. Follow the link to find associations in your area.
There is also Donne ton manteau that collects warm clothes to give them to homeless people.
2 – The gift of a blanket
Who has never taken a blanket plaid from an airplane? We all did it at least once. Often to deal with a thermal shock when returning home from a warm country, or just to have a blanket for the house.
Since I often fly, I ended up with a nice collection of blankets that I did not need. I gave them to an association that distributes them to people who sleep outside. And when I think of how cold it gets during the night at the moment, I wish I had more blankets to give.
This winter again, the police has taken the blankets from refugees and threw them away. I never understood the point of this horrible action, except to try to let people die who are suffering from the cold and hereby reduce the number of refugees in France…The bottom line is that there will always be a need for more blankets.
If you have blankets to donate, choose an association that looks after those who sleep outside:
3 – The gift of shoes
If we can give clothes, we can also give our shoes.
There is an association, RunCollect, which specializes in the collection and distribution of shoes. So, that old pair of sneakers that you keep in the closet can finally have a second life. In addition, they offer a special stamp with which your shipment is free of charge.
4 – The gift of beauty products
This part is for all the bloggers, models and makeup artists that I know, and other beauty addicts. We all have lipsticks, blushes or nail polishes that we bought on impulse, or that were given to us, and that we do not use. Rather than selling them on the internet, there are associations that collect them to distribute them to women in difficult situations (homeless or victims of domestic violence), or sick women in hospitals.
Send your products to the following address. Julie takes care of the redistribution of products:
CHS La Maison Coeur de Femmes / Julie Baudrier
54 Rue du Ruisseau
5 – The gift of hygiene products
Hygiene is a primary need for people on the street, but something we rarely think about. In the street, we cannot always wash, and yet, it is not the desire that is missing. So if you have shower gels in excess, give them away.
Here I am speaking mostly to travelers, businessmen and women, and models. Think of all the shampoos and soaps that you collect in hotels. Many collect these products just in case, others do not even touch them because they prefer to use their own products. Collect them, and once you have a good amount, donate them. The need for this is underestimated.
6 – The gift of pens, pencils and notebooks
There are two ways to donate pens and notebooks of which you have an excess at home: they can be sent to associations that distribute them in poor schools around the world; they can also be given to refugees and emigrants. In fact, in every commune there are associations that give French lessons to foreigners. However, they lack pencils and notebooks to use in their classes.
– Check with associations in your area.
7 – The tote bag
Ah, the famous tote bag, the favorite object of hipsters. We are not going to lie to each other; we all have more than one at home. It’s cool to shop at the market and avoid the use of plastic bags. But, do we really need to collect so many? Not really. Keep your two favorite tote bags, and give the others to the refugees. Yes, they need a bag to carry their notebooks and pencils when they go to class.
8 – Give a moment
As I explained, every city in France organizes French classes for emigrants. For these courses, it is often necessary to belong to the association and be available during the day and during the week. But if you only have one hour per week to offer, the association BAAM is looking for volunteers for moments of exchange and conversation in French with refugees. It’s a linguistic tandem. These moments allow them to practice French, and to help them integrate.
Otherwise, every Thursday from 6pm, Thé et café pour les Réfugiés goes to Stalingrad to distribute hygiene bags, notebooks and sweaters to people who are on the street, but also to interact with them while having a tea or a coffee. They take advantage of this moment to discuss, redo the world, and forget the harsh reality of life. Of course, they are essentially refugees, but donations are offered to all who come. The association is supported by other associations or traders who offer them drinks, bread and chocolates, to make this moment more warm.
9 – Hair donation
It can sound weird to give your hair but it’s very useful. We’ve all had long hair that we just cut. What did we do with this cut hair? We put it in the trash. Such a waste!
If you cut at least 25 centimeters of hair, set it aside to donate it. This also applies to natural hair extensions.
The Solid’hair association recovers them to make real hair wigs for women with cancer. Because natural hair wigs are very expensive in stores. Those made by Solidhair are offered to sick women.
Talk to your hairdresser to become a partner of the association.
If you have other suggestions for donations to make, or if you know associations to complete this list, do not hesitate to let me know so that I can add them.