What to do with gifts of Christmas past

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Dec 23 2019 09:22 AM

Young or old, receiving a gift on Christmas Day can only spark joy. Big or small, expensive or token, practical or not, gifts are sure to bring smiles to faces and hearts no matter how jaded.

But what can you do with one too many pens, notebooks, fruitcakes, oven toasters and sweaters? Most people will tend to pack away those that do not spoil and use for another day. But that day may not come for years, and if you have limited storage space, why not consider re-gifting for a worthy cause?

Here are some ideas where you can donate gifts of Christmas past, or even gifts from this holiday season that you think can spark more joy in someone else’s life or home. 

#1 For toys, clothes and more

Did you know that some 222,400 children live on the streets of Metro Manila? This estimate came from a government study that also reported some of these children live on the streets with their families, while some live on their own. 

You can help make their Christmas merrier as well as their lives easier with donations made through Childhope Philippines. The 30-year old non-profit cares for 1,200 street children every year, providing them access to food, shelter, education, and health.

Toys and clothes are donations they welcome as part of their Hope Closet program. Gently-used items are accepted too. You can call for pick up at +632 85634647 or visit them at 118 Penafrancia Extension, Paco, Manila.

#2 Books and school supplies

Remember CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida? He won the title in 2009 for his project called Kariton Klasrum (pushcart classrooms) which he launched two years before. Thanks to the positive attention he gained, his volunteer group has grown and the Kariton Klasrum is now nationwide. Plus, they added Tulakalusugan (push for health), a health program also aimed at giving poor communities access to healthcare.

You can support Efren and his pushcarts with school supplies, textbooks and even storybooks to help engage their students to learn. They are based in Cavite so best to visit the website of their organization called Dynamic Teen Company to coordinate with them.

#3 Home appliances and furniture

Wanting to raise more donations, Caritas Manila hosted a Segunda Mana (second hand) sale at their office back in 2008. The success of the event transformed it into a long-running donations in-kind program of Caritas, designed to help the poor help themselves. Now it is held in shopping malls, with as many as 6 events in a year.

You can share items that take space in your closets, homes, offices and warehouses, new or used, which are still usable or recyclable. Your generosity will help fund over 5000 scholars and 300 micro enterprises around the country. Check the Caritas Manila website for more details on Segunda Mana.

#4 Make up and personal accessories

Another popular gift for and between women are personal grooming products. Retail stores sell a great deal of lotions, cologne, shower gel and make up during the holiday season. If you have more than you can use, or received some that are not to your personal tastes, consider gifting them to Foundation Foundation (yes, that’s two foundations and not a typo).

The group was inspired by a friend who was behind the original The Foundation Foundation in Vancouver, Canada. They requested to set up a Philippine chapter, and from there, this small group of makeup enthusiasts launched Foundation Foundation Philippines. This Christian volunteer group aims to empower survivors of sex trafficking by providing them with avenues for self-care. They also support organizations who work directly with the rescue and sheltering of survivors. Visit their Facebook page for more information on how your make up can make a difference.

#5 Food items and other relief goods

Disaster seems to strike and strike again every year here in the Philippines. You can help non-profits who join the government’s first responders by donating items that can be used in care packages. 

The list of useful items is quite long and includes food, flashlight, personal hygiene items, blankets, raincoat, can opener, and many more. If you have small items that will be useful in a relief packet, you can donate to the Citizen’s Disaster Response Center, a non-government organization that has programs for disaster management. They accept donation from relief goods (canned goods from Christmas food baskets!) to reusable non-food items, rags, and utensils for victims of fires, floods, and other disasters. Call them at +632 89299820 or check their website for more information on what you can do to help.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.