To help you choose the best and most appropriate 'helping' activity (or as we like to call it ... Spirit of Christmas activity!) to include in your Letter from Santa we have listed the different ideas below, along with their descriptions and approximate costs. Once you have decided which activity you would like to include in your letter, simply select this option on the order page when you go to order.
This is a very simple yet fantastic idea for children (particularly younger children). It simply involves going through old toys, finding ones they no longer play with (that are still in good condition) and giving these toys to a charity such as The Salvation Army, Lifeline, op shops or charity bins. Big W have also introduced a box where you can drop off your old plastic toys to be recycled. There is no cost to do this idea ... just time ... and it also helps to free up some space for when Santa comes to visit!
This idea involves buying a a new toy or book for a girl or boy and donating the gift to a Christmas Wishing Tree (found at places such as Kmart or Target). Starting price would be around $5 and would only take the time needed to buy the gift and drop it off. For young children you could donate a gift on their behalf. To make this idea even more fun and interactive we have created two gift guides for you to use if you so wish ... a book gift guide and a toy gift guide ... which you can download and go through with your children to pick out which books or toys you might like to buy and donate (note: the books listed in this Gift Guide can be found at places such as Kmart, Target and Booktopia, as well as other good bookstores).
This can be a great activity for the whole family to get involved in – from choosing the charity right through to going as a family to volunteer! Some good websites to visit to find out more include www.govolunteer.com.au and www.seekvolunteer.co.nz (on these websites you will be able to filter and search for volunteering opportunities that are suitable for families). Some other ideas include Clean Up Days, planting trees and packing Christmas hampers (see www.magicmoments.org.au). There is no cost for this idea – just time! You could also try contacting a charity that you like and asking them how you can help as a family.
Donate some yummy (non-perishable) food items and help others to enjoy a special meal this Christmas! Starting price for this idea would be around $5 and would only take the time needed to buy the food and drop it off. Food items could be donated to an organisation such as The Salvation Army (see www.salvationarmy.org.au or www.salvationarmy.org.nz), or you could even put together a Christmas Hamper through the Basket Brigades (see www.magicmoments.org.au) or make a money donation to Foodbank or OzHarvest. To make this idea even more fun and interactive we have also created a list of non-perishable food items which you can download and go through with your children to pick out which food items you might like to buy and donate. For young children you could donate some food on their behalf.
A great idea for those who love their furry friends! This can be as simple as getting an old blanket or towel from home, or some good quality dog food from the supermarket, and dropping them off at an animal shelter. Some supermarkets also have collection bins for this at the front of their stores. To find your closest animal shelter visit www.rspca.org.au, www.australiacan.org.au (formerly AWL) or www.spca.nz. For young children you could donate on their behalf.
Sponsoring a child through World Vision, The Smith Family or Kids Can (in NZ) can help make a life-long difference to a disadvantaged child (and can be a very fulfilling and exciting activity for the whole family, as you may have the chance to write letters and communicate with your sponsored child!). This is an on-going gift of giving and prices start at $55/month for The Smith Family, $48/month for World Vision, $50/month for World Vision NZ and $30/month for Kids Can. For more visit www.thesmithfamily.com.au and www.worldvision.com.au for Australia and www.worldvision.org.nz and www.kidscan.org.nz for New Zealand. Donations may be tax deductable for this idea (check with the charity you choose).
As a family you could sit down and decide on a charity that you would all like to donate to (a list of registered charities can be found at www.acnc.gov.au for Australia and www.charities.govt.nz for New Zealand). Great for all budgets and only takes a short amount of time to do. Donations may also be tax deductable (check with the charity you choose). For young children you could donate on their behalf. Some charities that we have loved donating to over the years include Cystic Fibrosis QLD, Seeing Eye Dogs Australia (where you can sponsor a seeing eye puppy!) and Lifeflight.