Friday 17 December 2021

10 Organisations to Donate To This Holiday Season

Christmas is just around the corner (literally next week) and gift guides have flooded blogs everywhere. It is also the time of year consumption and waste get thrown into overdrive, which we know isn’t great for ourselves or for the planet. There is so much pressure to buy loads of things for people that they most likely to do not need and might not actually want or use, so a donation is a plastic-free, waste-free gift that will likely mean a lot. I love receiving donations as presents, they’re so special especially if they’re for a cause you’re particularly passionate about. I’ve picked a range but many of the charities and organisations I’ve featured here do focus on refugee solidarity, which seems fitting as the Christmas story is one of a child refugee after all.

1. Give Your Best

As the first online catalogue of donated clothing where refugee and asylum seeking women can shop for free, Give Your Best combine slow fashion with refugee solidarity. Rather than just being handed whatever clothing is available, Give Your Best gives displaced women back their agency when it comes to clothing choices, as many people will flee their homes with only the clothes on their back. They also focus on items such as maternity clothes which may not have been needed when people initially fled their homes. So far over 500 women have shopped with Give Your Best, an incredible number that will likely on further grow. You can donate your clothes to Give Your Best, but also some of their newly made t-shirts and fundraiser prints would also make great Christmas gifts! If you want to learn more about how Give Your Best runs, check out this guide

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2. Bloody Good Period

Bloody Good Period are a London based organisation which aims to support refugees and asylum-seekers facing period poverty. They distribute menstrual products for free in London and to organisations support menstruating refugees and asylum seekers all over the UK. But this is only part of their work. Bloody Good Period also seek to tackle menstrual and sexual health stigma so that conversations around periods are normalised, to be a part of making change when it comes to the treatment of people who menstruate, and to make education on sexual and reproductive health more accessible.
BGP have run several amazing campaigns over the years, including Blood Good Employers which seeks to change the way workplaces are run so that people who menstruate are not at a disadvantage to people who do not. They also run the campaign Decolonising Menstruation in collaboration with Decolonising Contraception, which you can learn more about here.

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3. Remake

If you’ve seen me anywhere online before, you will have most likely heard about Remake. I have a lot of love for Remake as an ambassador and as a writer for them. Remake do a lot of amazing work, including being at the forefront of the Pay Up Fashion campaign which began at the beginning of the pandemic after brands refused to pay for ready-made orders, pushing for the passing of the Garment Worker Protection Act in California, and putting pressure on brands to renew the Bangladesh Accord into the International Accord and ensuring garment workers globally have a base-level of health and safety at work. 
Remake are currently on a fundraising drive with a campaign called #GiveYourValues, which is a modification of their phrase Wear Your Values, which relates to having a slow mindset relating to fashion. They are aiming to raise $100,000 by New Year’s Eve, which, if achieved will be matched with an additional $100,000 by the Martini Education Trust. This is an incredible opportunity or Remake to kickstart their 2022 and giving the campaigns and advocacy work next year and extra boost.
This money will go towards working with garment worker unions, communicating with and putting pressure on brands, running campaigns, paying writers (like me!), raising awareness of the labour and environmental crisis within the fashion industry, and pushing for justice to finally be achieved from the fallout of the pandemic on garment workers. It’s safe to say it will go a long way. 

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4. Calais Appeal

This year, Choose Love are withdrawing funding from most organisations they previously supported working in and around Calais to support asylum seekers (except 2 organisations supporting unaccompanied children) for reasons that aren’t particularly clear. This will have a devastating blow to so many people. Normally I would suggest donating to Choose Love as they make it so easy and support such a wide range of services and support networks for asylum seekers and refugees all over the world. However, this year your donation will likely have more impact going towards those smaller organisations, groups and services directly. 
Calais Appeal fundraise to support 7 grassroots organisations working in Calais to support forcibly displaced people. They also shares expertise, resources and collaborate to provide emergency materials for people stuck at the border. Members organisations include Calais Food Collective, Collective Aid, Human Rights Observers, Woodyard, Refugee Women’s Center, Refugee Info Bus and Project Play. With Choose Love withdrawing funding, Calais Appeal is vital to keeping these projects going. No donation is too big or too small to create and maintain cross-border solidarity. 

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5. Green New Deal Rising

Green New Deal Rising are a grassroots movement of 16-35 year olds working to implement a Green New Deal in the UK. In the past few weeks they have run a fundraising campaign to get 200 people to donate an hour’s wage to the movement every month, providing a solid base to enhance the work they’re doing and ensure a Green New Deal is at the forefront of the political agenda in 2022 and beyond. That target was smashed over a week before Christmas and a new goal of 300 regular donors has been made. 
Despite only being in existence for 4 months, Green New Deal Rising has achieved so much and got the Green New Deal onto the political agenda with a bang. You might have seen some of their viral videos on social media challenging politicians over their climate actions. These have included talking to Rishi Sunak (two times), Keir Starmer (also two times), and Nicola Sturgeon among many, many more. Next year, Green New Deal Rising are hoping to up their game and deliver bigger and more noticeable actions which will only be able to happen if they have the necessary funding. This funding is so vital to getting more and more young people involved – it allows for travel, resources, and even accommodation for certain actions to be paid for, making participation so much more accessible.   


6. Black Minds Matter

Black Minds Matter connect Black individuals and families with free mental health services by pairing them up with Black therapists. This is so important for so many reasons and there are people out there much better equipped than me to explain why individuals need therapists from similar backgrounds to them. They also have a load of free mental health resources, run various different events, and by the looks of it, Black Minds Matter have loads more planned for 2022, so help make that happen!
As well as donating directly you can also buy Black Minds Matter merch which are created in collaboration with Black artists and all of the profits go towards covering the cost of therapy sessions. 

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7. Mermaids

Running since 1995, Mermaids do vital work supporting trans children and their families. Donations maintain helpline services, advocacy for trans rights, fund residential weekends, and to create safe spaces for young people to be around others with the same experiences as them. Mermaids have educational resources for parents of trans children on how to best support their child, resources for trans children to learn more and answer any questions they might have. The statistics around trans physical and mental health are shocking, and it is so important to have organisations like Mermaids exist in order to create those support networks and communities and improve awareness among teachers, parents, healthcare professonals and other support services. 
Mermaids have faced a lot of ridicule in the press in recent years from high-profile transphobes, so extra support will be so so needed and appreciated. 

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8. North East Solidarity and Teaching (N.E.S.T)

Run by students and graduates, N.E.S.T aims to support, empower, and educate refugees and asylum seekers in the North East of England (and as a result of the pandemic, further across the UK and Europe). 
This winter, N.E.S.T are running an appeal for funds to help buy toys for the children who use their services as well as care packs containing items such as underwear, shoes, and toiletries for the whole families. While the initial target has been met, N.E.S.T aways needs more funds and the money will go towards supporting one of the many different projects it encompasses. These include Circus Club for kids, homework support, nursery for toddlers and babies, English language lessons, trips around the North East, working with schools, sports sessions, and more specialist social support. The main aspect of N.E.S.T is not the specifics of the projects themselves, but more the sense of community and belonging that it fosters and allows to bloom. It’s a very special project that deserves all the support possible. 

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9. The OR Foundation

The ‘or’ in OR Foundation highlights choice and therefore agency, and the ability for us to escape the current violent socio-economic system of corporate colonialism we now see dominating the world. The OR Foundation work in the intersection of environmental justice, education, and fashion development, and aim to find and create alternative systems that are kinder to people and planet and push back against the colonial present and past of the fashion industry. 
Their aim is to show the path to a Justice-Led Circular Economy and to help us get there quickly through collective and individual actions, holding those in power to account, educational programming and awareness, supporting sustainable independent designers, research and institutional advocacy to get people at all levels mobilized for change. They work in between Ghana and the USA, and have a focus in the Kantamanto Market in Ghana. They have so many different projects and they are all so important – the work The OR Foundation is doing is so exciting and really at the centre of change being created in the fashion industry.

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10. The Black Curriculum

Started in 2019, The Black Curriculum work to decolonize the school curriculum in the UK and ensure that Black history is no longer left out of British history teaching in schools. They provide teaching training, teaching resources, run educational programmes and a whole more. . Their core aims are to provide a sense of belonging to young people across the UK, teach an accessible and educational Black British history curriculum that raises attainment, and to improve social cohesion between young people in the UK. They also run campaigns to mobile young people and get them involved in political actions to decolonize the British curriculum at a national governmental level but also support students to lobby the senior managements in their own schools to create change in how and what they are taught. 

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If you liked this post you might like: 25 Ways to Take Climate Action After the IPCC Report

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