The Charity Shop Gift Card encapsulates that Christmas is a time for giving with Gift of Thrift campaign.
Inspired by reverse advent calendars and with help from corporate partners, the Gift of Thrift campaign will giveaway £200 worth of gift cards to good causes in the run-up to Christmas.
“People receiving the card can buy whatever preloved items they like; a warm winter coat, household items, Christmas gifts. Giving them a little extra boost at a tricky time of year,” explains Co-founder, Sarah Cox.
Recipients of the gift cards are known by the organisation, recommended by people in their network, or found through social media.
The expansion of The Charity Shop Gift Card since last year also means that Gift of Thrift can benefit people nationwide.
Although part of The Charity Shop Gift Card is to be a consumer gift card for people who shop in charity shops, supporting people in financial need is monumental to the organisation, particularly co-founder Sarah Cox.
“As one of the co-founders, my inspiration for this side of it was borne out of my own need. I found myself in that situation and rather than relying on donations from people for the things my kids and I needed, I wished I could have chosen the things I needed from charity shops. Realising how important dignity and choice are for people I wanted there to be a way for people to ‘shop for free’ in charity shops and a gift card was the solution to this,” explains Sarah.
Sarah’s first-hand experience combined with research carried out with foodbanks is why the decision to donate gift cards rather than money was made.
“When you are struggling financially it’s really easy for cash to get swallowed up into your overdraft or be needed elsewhere like food, fuel, or other pressures within the family,” explains Sarah.
“Charity shop items that might seem like an essential to us but become a luxury when money is tight.”
The gift card gives recipients the opportunity and freedom to choose essential items, such as coats and jumpers, that they like and are excited to wear rather than receiving specific donations.
“Recipients have also said that they like the charitable aspect too – they are supporting charities rather than feeling that they are just receiving handouts and often regional charity shops have some significance to the local community that they like supporting,” Sarah explains.
“For me, I love being able to offer the cards to such worthy causes as it feels like I have come full circle from Christmas three years ago when I was the one going to food banks and needing financial support myself!” enthuses Sarah.
The Charity Shop Gift Card is still searching for charitable causes to benefit from Gift of Thrift this December, and encourages any organisation looking to be considered to email –thecharityshopgiftcard.co.uk