Friday, 22 May 2009


It is amazing what you can buy for £10! Ok so you can't feed yourself for a week on this but you can sure buy a nice variety of things to perk up yours or someone else's life... The following items are about to be packed up and sent to a British service woman in Afghanistan:

Pot of black pepper
3 packs of yogurt covered fruit flakes (raspberry, strawberry and blackcurrant)
handy wordsearch book
Mega pack of strawberry sugarfree gum
bag of sea salt and black pepper cashew nuts
box of 100 spearmint tic tacs
Kiddies sweets (3 bags teeth and lips, strawberry flavour lances and fizzy cola lances)
seven hot chocolate sachets of various types (you can#t send chocolate cos it melts so this is the next best thing!)
Tube of effervescent Vitamin C and Zinc tablets - apparently they help make water taste nicer...

I also have a large bag of tea light candles and if I have room in my box I may put a couple of those in too...

It really helps to go in looking for bargains - if you have no preset ideas of what you are going to buy or which brands to buy. Liquids and meltables are a bad idea. I would like to have gotten some nice toiletries as a treat but i can't imagine they have spare water for baths and solid nice things of other varieties aren't so cheap....

I have in my head kind of set myself a little challenge with the whole charity thing of not buying things off a charity that I don't need, not just giving money and trying to do something different each month, if I can possibly find that many different things to do... I may stretch it to sponsoring a child...

Today I found this charity called Algerian Action who take all sorts of things out to Algeria. They started by taking clothes, blankets and blanket squares and toys for children. They are not fussy about whether you crochet, sew or knit or the standard of your skills. Something even I can contribute to!

Everybody is probably aware of these needs and projects that meet them but the charity has a new project which made me quite sad and was something I had never ever thought of. It seems many women can not afford disposable sanitary towels and are often forced to use black plastic from refuse sacks. A new project has been set up to collect washable pads for these women. How many people would think to try and meet such a basic need? How many charities have missed this because we don't like to think or talk about 'women's issues'?

I can sew in straightish lines. I have a sewing machine I need to learn how to use but I am most comfortable with basic hand sewing. I don't think straight lines matter when making sanitary pads. If I can't use my machine to knock a few together then it is a sad thing! I think I shall try and contribute a few different things to this project over the remainder of my 1001 days.

First though I like the idea of making a babies blanket. I have some bright pieces of fleecy material I am doing nothing with and I am sure i could manage to turn them into a patchwork blanket (probably by hand). I also have an item on my list to make a cuddly toy and another to learn to crochet... I know one, at least, of my local charity shops has a tub of donated wool, if I learn to crochet I can practice making some nice and garish blanket squares at pretty low cost.

If anybody has any other ideas of things that would meet my ideas of things I can do for other months for my charity challenge, I would be grateful...


  1. We do stuff for "Plan"..over here its Plan Canada but there might be a British version. We're saving to buy some livestock for a family...I bought seedling trees at each of the kids' birthdays and also paid for birth certificates for children in Egypt (apparently if you can't afford a birth certificate then the children miss out on a lot of benefits/healthcare etc.). They do child sponsoring also...something I'm thinking a lot about.

    Also, Lunapads does the washable pads donations but its definitely more personal if you make them yourself....

    Kudos to you...these are some great projects!!

    PS I'm sure your care package to Afghanistan will be so very much appreciated...

  2. Thanks Hun! Sounds like you have been doing this a lot longer than me! Money is often an issue and work is often variable for me so regular contributions have been a little tricky. I fear I am a little late on this charity thing but better late than never, and I am enjoying it...

  3. I admire your giving! I think sewing your own washable pads is a great idea :) I'm not sure if you've seen them, in Canada there are these "tampax" commercials where they go on and on about donating disposable tampons to women... my thought was: how wasteful and Westernized of tampax of them to think that disposable tampons are a sustainable solution.
    I am excited to send some questions your way! I can leave them as a comment when they are ready if you'd feel more comfortable than leaving your email :)
    ps- every little act of giving is beautiful.

  4. Don't think we have those ads here. Sounds like companies giving third world mothers powdered milk so their own runs out and they have to buy powdered.... but not quite so bad. I don't think the companies are thinking it is a sustainable solution, they see a new market and more money....

    Looking forward to the interview!