Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Best Gift Of All

In the midst of the hustle & bustle of Festive commercialism, maybe it's time to think of a gift with a difference, that will make a difference.

The Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) is a voluntary, not for profit NGO that provides birthing kits and education in clean birthing practice to remote & developing countries. It's mandate is that every woman has the right to a clean & safe delivery.

A Birthing Kit works by providing the 7 clean items required for a clean birth enviroment packed in a small plastic box. You can also volunteer your time by assisting at the Kit Assembly Days.
Price: AU$25.00

Quilt Aid
Purchase 12 quilt block templates to assist the wonderful work of the Dr. Catherine Hamlin's Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. Complete them as a quilt for yourself or your family or better still, donate the finished product to the Fistula Hospital for the beds of the individual women receiving treatment for obstetric fistulae.
Price: AU$27.00 per block

Administered by Rotary, this is a gift that will instantly assist in natural and man-made disasters by delivering a box of aid to those in urgent need. The boxes are stored in strategically placed warehouse facilities around the globe & can be shipped immediately to a disaster zone.
Each box supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and essential equipment (for lighting, shelter, cooking, warmth, etc.) to use while they are displaced or homeless.

Price: AU$1,200.00 (GST exempt) Makes a fantastic Corporate donation in lieu of client Christmas cards.

Provides tools and training in construction so a family can build their own home and develop skills to earn an income.
Price: AU$50.00 (GST exempt)

The Brumby Camp's mission is to motivate troubled & high-risk adolescents by mentoring them through the process of developing a partnership with a wild brumby horse. The skills that will naturally develop during this long term program will help equip the youths with the ability to become willing participants in society. The Kalandan Foundation empowers participants, prepares them for success in life and helps them make positive choices all while training and gaining the trust and respect of wild horses and the people around them.
Price: A donation of your choice to sponsor a young person to Brumby Camp.

This ever popular gift provides nutritious milk and offspring that can be sold or traded by a poor family. Farm animals like goats are vital assets in rural communities.
Price: AU$40.00 (GST exempt)

In Bangladesh children love to go to school when they can, so $138 could go towards a teachers salary for six months
Price: AU$138.00 (GST exempt)

Each Newborn Care Kit includes specific items and educational materials that encourage mothers to adopt healthy behaviours that will protect the newborn such as keeping the baby dry and warm, skin to skin care (especially for low birth weight babies), immediate and exclusive breastfeeding and bathing and frequent hand washing by mothers and care givers.
Price: AU$13.00 (GST exempt)


  1. Fantastic idea Millie, well done you :)

  2. Wonderful post Millie. At this time of year, it's time to dig deep and give. The joy is really in the giving. You are a dear.

  3. There are a host of things people can do. Getting them to do it is another story. We used to support a Native American (Indian) school in the north and while we didn't have much money with 5 children of our own, we did manage to send them some money from time to time. Then when we were no longer able to send anything, we started to be dunned by parents. OH well. That's life.

  4. This is a wonderful post, thanks Millie.
    We can get so carried away by the hype over shopping and we do need to think of those that are less fortunate and give a gift that will really help others.

    I hope that your week is going well.


  5. Oh that is great i knew about some of these but not all. I must look into that birthing kit I love that idea. xoxo

  6. What a fantastic post, I see that someone else has used the word fantistic. It was the fist thing that came to mind. I feel guilty now, about adding my calenders for sale on my blog after reading this. I don't have the monatary gifts to give so I give away things I would normally sell at a garage sale. There are so many little families around that appreciate it, I myself grew up in someone eles clothes and played with hand-me-down toys. You get what you give. Great post, Millie.

  7. You know my heart belongs with those birthing kits, Millie. I'm buying one and then putting a link for them on my site...I'm so grateful to you for bringing attention to this great need. Meredy xo.

  8. Thanks for the reminder about these things that really matter. Catherine Hamlin's work is amazing and the respect that she brings back to women is awesome.
    Clare x

  9. Love this idea Millie. I've been threatening to do something like this for ages and will defintely do it this year! The birthing kit is a marvellous idea.

    Thanks for prompting me to get motivated.

  10. A wonderful reminder to us all, and what Christmas should really be about, Mill's. I know that we have similar charities here in the U.K so, I will get my purse out. XXXX

  11. An excellent idea. I work with a young woman from Africa who tells all sorts of mindblowing stories about the lives of the women and it makes you shudder. The birthing kits are such a basic neccessity. Thanks for reminding us to think about these people.

  12. I think they are all wonderful ideas - and perhaps one of the best is the brumby one. I have worked in women's and girl's basic education and there's no denying that all the developing countries are in dire need of aid. But sometimes I think that if we spent a little extra time making our own gardens more healthy, something that is harder for many of us to address than an 'outside' problem, then we would go a long way in creating a better developed world who may make future decisions that don't penalise the third world quite as much.

    Insisting on knowing that everything we buy- from the necessary to the frivolous- is made with fair trade or 'legal' employment also goes a long way in ensuring that little girls and boys are sent to school rather than used in slave labour ... Food for thought. Great post!!

  13. Great post Millie. So much better to give a gift like this.

  14. Don't get me have been wanting to do this kind of present with my NZ in-laws but they insist that you need 'proper' presents. Which is nice, if you get good presents that you like!
    So I have bitten the bullet this year and given the main offender an Oxfam goat - I'm waiting for the phone call on Christmas Day!
    Personally I think it is a wonderful thing to do.
    I'll step off my soapbox now, thanks for giving me the time to offload, Millie!

  15. Some excellent Christmas gift suggestions Millie - I'm going to show my son this post & let him choose which gift we will give this year. Thank you. Lee :)

  16. I love how you gave so many varied choices for gifts- brilliant idea. Thank you for this post.


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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