How Do Charity Gift Cards Actually Work?
You buy a charity gift card and somehow it turns up as a goat or sewing machine or clean water on the other side of the world. How does this happen? Here’s how the process works, impacting a child’s life and even stimulating the local economy at the same time.
11 Oct, 2016
We’ve all had that sinking feeling the day before family Christmas when we realise we’ve forgotten to buy a gift for our Great Aunt Mildred. With not much time to spare, you jump onto the Compassion website, order a Gift of Compassion, and you’re good to go. Crisis averted.
You pat yourself on the back as you’ve ticked two boxes: you’ve purchased a gift and you’re doing something charitable at the same time. But how much time do you spend thinking about where your money is going? How does the gift card you bought turn into a goat or a sewing machine or clean water on the other side of the world?
We’re glad you asked!
How are the gifts chosen?
Each of the 16 gifts that appear in our gift catalogue are carefully selected based on the real need that exists in the countries where Compassion operates. Compassion staff members, together with the local church, look at the greatest needs facing the children in our programs. They work together to effectively identify solutions to address these needs.
For example, this could be in the form of preventive healthcare like safe water or mozzie nets, or perhaps providing income generation opportunities, giving children and their families the best opportunities possible. Every single gift in the Gifts of Compassion catalogue makes a real difference in the lives of children and families living in poverty.
You can give a Baby Essentials Kit to help new mums care for their newborns.
Stimulating local economies
When you purchase a chicken, goat or cow from the Gifts of Compassion catalogue, we don’t send a shipping container filled with Aussie livestock to take to children living in poverty. Not only would that be exorbitantly expensive (and would probably be blocked by customs!), but it’s also not in the best interests of the communities of the children and families.
By acquiring livestock from within their communities, you’re helping to stimulate the local economy, which can improve living standards and increase job opportunities for the families in our program. This doesn’t go just for our animal gifts, but for gifts such as mosquito nets, sewing machines, textbooks and Bibles.
Help young adults in Compassion's programs learn a vocation, setting them up for a bright future.
Facilitating good development work
When you buy from the Gifts of Compassion catalogue, your life-changing gift will fund the activity described in the card, or other similar initiatives.
Good development work means responding to the changing needs of the children and families in Compassion’s programs around the world. If at the time of purchase there isn’t a need for your chosen gift, the funds will go towards a comparable, more urgent initiative.
Your gift will be delivered through local staff and churches who are best placed to identify the needs of each child registered with Compassion. Your gift will go to the children and families who need it most.
So the answer to the burning question ‘do charity gift cards work?’—when it comes to Gifts of Compassion—is a resounding YES!
P.S. Keep an eye out for our new Gifts of Compassion catalogue (featuring brand-new gifts!) which launches at the end of the month.
Words by Monique Wallace and Zoe Noakes