With the “season of giving” upon us, we look at the many different ways you can give that will benefit not just one person, but our beautiful island community as well.
Give to the Environment
You don’t need a large garden for a citrus, fig or scarlett cordia tree. They can all grow in pots and do well even if someone only has a balcony or patio. Brighton Nurseries: 236-5862
2. Bee Friendly Flowers
Gardenia, jasmine and lantana are all particularly sweet smelling and therefore loved by bees. If you prefer herbs, Olander recommends basil. Add an attractive container and voila, a great gift. www.aberfeldy.bm, 236-2927
Children love to grow things so wrap some packets of seeds and a gardening set for under the Christmas tree. Aberfeldy recommends bush beans for young children as they are large and come up quickly; micro greens are fun too. Also available are the colourful I Can Grow seed kits by crayon company Crayola. www.aberfeldy.bm 236-2927
Give Your Time
4. The Salvation Army
Volunteer to prepare and package the Christmas hampers for Salvation Army members or stand on a busy street with one of their Christmas kettles, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and encouraging a donation—no amount is too small. 292-0601
5. Coalition for the Protection of Children
Teach children how to give by hosting your friends and their children for a giving play date and tea. Each child could bring a new toy to donate and each adult could bring a baby item, adult toiletry or BELCO voucher. www.coalition.bm
6. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda
One amazing way to give your time this season is by volunteering as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda. This program helps children and youth by matching a child with an adult mentor. The program is currently in need of mentors, particularly Big Brothers. This is an incredibly rewarding experience, so volunteer now at www.bbbs.bm/volunteer or call 232-2802.
Give an Experience
7. Endless Creations
This new pottery studio on the corner of King and Reid Streets in Hamilton offers gift packages for all ages. Try your hand at the pottery wheel or paint a pre-made piece. A colourful and creative experience for adults and children. www.endlesspotteryncrafts.com
Forgo the traditional gift and give a child a WindReach experience instead. They can tour the petting zoo, feed the animals, cuddle a bunny and then finish up at their amazing Boundless Playground. All donations go towards programmes that improve the quality of life for people with special needs. www.windreachbermuda.org
Give to the Local Economy
Support a local business and the environment by giving a pot of Bermuda honey to someone you love. It’s also great for your health! Available at various roadsides, farms and local shops or get some Trunk Island honey from the Aquarium gift shop.
10. Hand Made Bermuda
This shop in the Clocktower Mall, Dockyard, sells gifts that have all been made in Bermuda. There is something for everyone including prints, jewellery, art, soft toys, pottery, bags, jam and cedar. www.handmadebermudaltd.com 232-0862
Give Sustainable Gifts
11. Reusable Shopping Bags
Not the practical ones you put your weekly groceries in, but for all your other shopping needs, any one of the more stylish tote options currently available in Bermuda’s gift shops. If you want to look truly authentic, may I recommend the, ahem, Fish Sandwich Tote available HERE.
12. Sustainable Toys
In addition to delicious treats, The Tuck Shop in Southampton sells a wide range of toys for young children by sustainable brands using environmentally friendly materials, including Plan Toys, Pied Piper Crafts, Grimm’s and Petilou. @tuckshopbermuda 238-8825
What to me is rubbish, to my six-year-old is a sculptural masterpiece in the making, be it a milk carton, cereal box or bottle top. Brown & Co sell Recycle Me art sets that feed this imagination, or fill your own large Tupperware box with basic art and craft supplies from The Stationery Store then add your old egg cartons, corks, paper towel rolls and used wrapping paper. Decorate it with ribbon and place it under the tree.
Give a Better Education
15. Support Public Schools
It couldn’t be easier to help Bermuda’s school children get the essential learning supplies they need for a better-quality education. Go to their website, choose a school then pick from a list of items they need. www.sps.bm 505-6131
16. Feed My Lambs
Give the gift of education by sponsoring an orphaned or abandoned child in Haiti through the Feed My Lambs Ministry sponsorship programme. Two hundred and fifty dollars a year covers tuition, uniforms and school supplies. www.feedmylambsministry.org 536-3613
Give Memberships That Give Back to the Community
17. Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art
Support local artists by giving the gift of Masterworks membership, starting at $35 for students and seniors, $50 for individuals and $75 for a family. In addition to unlimited museum access and invitations to events, members also benefit from reciprocal arrangements with a number of North American museums. www.masterworksbermuda.org 299-4000
18. Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo
Help conservation efforts by giving a BAMZ membership. A particularly good idea for someone with young children, a family membership, or Killifish, starts at $75 and includes unlimited Aquarium access, booking privileges for camps and a discount at the gift shop. www.bamz.org 293-2727