Last year we loved Choose Love, the world’s first store where you can buy real gifts for refugees, and this year it’s back. Created by the charity Help Refugees, the pop-up store is unable to open due to the pandemic. To give back this Christmas you can visit them online.
#ChooseLove is a gift shop like no other. Get your Christmas shopping sorted – while helping people in need. It’s an opportunity to purchase items desperately needed by refugees, from as little as £5. The online shop is divided into three areas, each documenting different stages of a refugee’s journey – Emergency Needs, Daily Survival, and Building Futures. There’s even a ‘Secret Santa’ section for companies looking to make a difference with their virtual Christmas events this year.
You can purchase items from the site such as baby essentials, hot meals and sleeping bags, and even services like medical care, legal aid, and LGBTQ+ support as gifts, which are then delivered by the charity directly to the people that need them most. They also have merchandise that you can buy for yourself, or a friend. Their iconic ‘Choose Love’ t-shirt created by British designer Katharine Hamnett, is top of our Christmas list!
The charity #HelpRefugees began as a hashtag in 2015 to help a group of friends organise a van full of donations, within a week they raised £56,000 and were soon receiving 7,000 items every day. In just five years 35,000 volunteers have been able to reach more than one million displaced people around the world.
Co-Founder Josie Naughton left her job in music to set up the charity that launched the Choose Love store. The store helps make charity donation a little more tangible, the world’s problems seem so huge it’s hard to know what to do, “but it’s easy to understand that if a child doesn’t have a coat, you can buy them a coat”.
Help Refugees now support over 135 projects across Europe, the Middle East and the US-Mexico border, providing everything from lifesaving search and rescue boats to food and legal advice. These projects work to support and change the lives of millions who are suffering from governments’ failure to provide even the most basic of services.
Choose LOVE here.