An Unusual And Alternative Valentine's Day Gift Idea
If you're looking for an idea for a Valentine's Day present that is off the beaten track, consider Oxfam's Unwrapped scheme.
With the start of February, another yearly celebration moves into view – Valentine’s Day. Whether you embrace the day or find it just another exploitative consumerist event, chances are you’re going to end up buying some gifts in some form or other for a special person in your life.
It can be difficult choosing the right present. The shops are usually filled with reams of pink, with cuddly toys clutching hearts. The riot of red can paralyse the ability to make an informed decision; you should also consider whether your partner actually needs a giant teddy bear with “I Wuv You” emblazoned across the chest.
Much Needed Gifts
Consider, then, using this as a chance to give gifts that can really make a difference to lives. Charities such as Oxfam have set up schemes that enable ‘gifts’ that can go directly to the people who need them. In return you receive updates of how your gift is being used, and the knowledge that you have helped someone who will completely and truly appreciate what has been given.
It would certainly bring a smile to someone’s face upon seeing some of the more unusual gifts they would have given in donation. Through the scheme, you could give a family the means – seeds and tools -- to grow a planation, or provide wells and pumps for much needed water supplies, or provide fertiliser. Then there are also more specialised gifts designed to help people in their personal development – schemes to train school teachers, to educate more girls, to provide the means for women to become business people, or to train beekeepers. And one of the most popular gifts is simply the giving of a goat, which can provide food and milk for a family.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Oxfam has an addition to every much needed gift donation – a box of Divine chocolate hearts made of Fair Trade Ghanaian cocoa.
For All Occasions
This February event is not the only time to consider Oxfam Unwrapped. The scheme is an unusual alternative for any gift-giving celebration, including birthday, Christmas…and even weddings. Married-couples-to-be can sign up to the Wedding List option, which sends out cards or emails to all guests asking them kindly to not buy gifts, but to choose and give a gift from the Oxfam site. This is particularly good for those couples who may have been living together for a while and not need the kitchenware and utensils that can often be gifted at weddings. It would also serve to make an already memorable day that little more special, knowing how many people would benefit.
So if you’re stuck for ideas this Valentine’s Day, consider a more unusual route that would truly make a lasting impression on all recipients.