on Nov 29, 21

The power of giving at Christmas

By Sue McCabe, co-founder of The Good Registry - 

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”― Vincent Van Gogh

I’m a big believer in the power of little acts of goodness. Whether it’s volunteering, helping, or donating money, a little can go a long way. 

I was reminded of this when I set up my Good Registry for Christmas. I counted up the number of birthday and Christmas registries I have created since The Good Registry established in 2017. This Christmas will be my ninth ‘giving’ event. 

My registry dashboard told me each event has raised between $308 and $650 for a charity. In total, over the past four years my three immediate family members and a handful of close friends have donated $3518 to good causes through my registries. This is money going where it’s really needed rather than being spent on gifts I don’t need. 

I completely acknowledge my privilege as many people need presents, and I also respect that thoughtful or needed gifts bring joy for many people. It’s not my love language. Disclaimer too that given I’m a co-founder of The Good Registry, I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid hence my high usage!

The money from each giving event, and even the total amount, is small in the face of high community and environmental need. But $3518 will have had a real impact - community organisations deliver a lot with a little.

Sometimes it takes me some time to select the charity for my friends and family to give to each birthday or Christmas, from the list of almost 70 available - so many good causes. The last three I selected were Para Kore in 2020 for my birthday; Whenua Warrior for last Christmas, and Le Va for my birthday this year. Check out those awesome groups if you haven’t heard of them!

The choice was easy for Xmas 2021. I selected the Māori Literature Trust. It’s timely given the rise and rise of te reo Māori in recent years - following a period of Pākehā (that’s folks like me) doing shameful things to suppress the language. So it’s on non-Māori like me to play our part to support the revival, and it’s exciting to think about more Māori literature being available as part of that. 

I’m hoping that with this next act in a series of small things, I’ll crack the $4000 mark going to good causes instead of being spent on presents to me. 

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