They say that giving is better than receiving. I have always loved giving gifts and seeing the joy in the recipients’ faces. Christmas is a prime time for giving, and, since having a full-time job, I was excited to buy nicer gifts for my friends this holiday. However, as the weeks leading up to December went by, I kept thinking about how much stuff we buy that we do not actually need. Whenever I saw people going shopping for Christmas, I wondered “are those gifts really needed?” “Isn’t there a better, less wasteful and more productive way to give?” Needless to say, I made the decision not to buy gifts this year (except from one, which you can read about at the end of the post). Being away from my family, there really isn’t anyone I feel the need to give presents to this holiday, except from my partner.
Although I did not buy any presents this year, I still wanted to participate in the giving season. I remember how every Christmas in Vancouver I felt extremely guilty about all the hustling and buying, buying, and buying; however, most homeless people do not even have a family and a safe and warm home to spend this “magical” time in. Thus, I decided to donate money to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank to help provide more meals to those who need them.
I knew that some of my friends also care about causes, such as food waste and homelessness. Thus, in November, I joined a market fair at my organization, where I sold handmade amigurumi (crochet toys). Half of all the proceeds would be donated to the food bank. Not surprisingly, my co-workers were extremely supportive, and they bought almost everything I brought that day. Going with the success of the market sale, I asked if people would commission me to make more amigurumi to raise more funds. In the end, with everyone’s contributions, I raised over $100 for the food bank. It was amazing to know that my friends and co-workers care about giving back and like my craft enough to commission me.
Here are some of the amigurumi dolls I made that went to new homes this Christmas.
How cute is this pink elephant with the succulents? 🐘😍 . . . . . . . . . . #pinkelephant #succulents #officedesk #officedecor #amigurumi #crochet #crochettoy #cuteplush #princesselephant #elephanttoy #вязальныйкрючок #вязание #вязаниекрючком #суккуленты #handmade #vancouverhandmade #vancouvercrafters
Ms. Gnome already found a new cozy home ❤️ and it happens to be right next to my desk in my office haha. Art in the background is by @pauladimarcoart . . . . . . . . . #gnome #Christmas #christmasgnome #amigurumi #xmas #xmasamigurumi #handmadetoy #handmade #vancouvercrafters #vancouver #officedecor #festivedecor #xmasplush
A Very Special Gift to an Anonymous Person
My organization, specifically the CST (Clinical and Systems Transformation) team, also participated in the Shoebox Project. Whoever wanted to participate had to stuff a shoebox full of new and useful items for women who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless. Volunteers would then deliver this box to become a present to one of the women. The purpose is to help those women feel loved and supported. I stuffed mine with a body cream bottle, shower gel, chap stick, chocolate bar, gift card, and some other minor things. It seems small, but that shoebox might have been the most important and impactful gift I have ever given to anyone 🙂