How to give back at Christmas

One of the best things about Christmas is the positive change you can bring to someone’s life. Whether it’s a charity you support or a meal you donate, now’s the time to up the feel-good factor.

Shout someone a coffee or meal at Good 2 Go

Down colourful Hosier Lane, coffee shop Good 2 Go works to brighten the lives of youth experiencing homelessness or poverty. You can shout someone a coffee or meal via their pay-it-forward scheme, or just support this vital social enterprise with your patronage. The cafe also mentors disadvantaged youth, providing them with hospitality training and life skills.

 woman looking at a blackboard outside a cafe in a street art covered laneway

Good2Go in Hosier Lane

Visit the Gingerbread Village

Marvel at a miniature Melbourne made out of biscuits and help a good cause at the Gingerbread Village by Epicure. On until Christmas Eve, the village is a remarkable feat of baking that also raises money for charity. This year proceeds will be going to the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, so give generously.

A miniature amusement park made out of gingerbread

The sights of Melbourne recreated in gingerbread

Grab lunch or coffee from a social enterprise cafe

Spend your lunch money wisely by getting your coffee or meal from a cafe whose mission is to help others. Streat at Melbourne Central trains youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in hospitality to give them a fresh start in life. Kinfolk serves amazing seasonal food that tastes even better when you realise all the profits go to charity. And at House of Cards Espresso you get to choose which cause you’d like the café to donate to. Hmmm will it be environmental, cultural, social or health today?

Buy a re-usable coffee cup for someone

Do your bit to stop the scourge of disposable coffee cups by encouraging a friend to go greener. Reusable cups make a great gift and you can buy them at several locations around the city. Keep Cups can be found at Seven Seeds, Melbournalia and Top 3 By Design. For Frank Green cups, head to Readings Books & Music in Carlton or Sensory Lab. And you can tell your friend that good deeds do pay off – heaps of cafes now offer discounts when you BYO cup.

A resuable coffee cup full of coffee

Get your mugs out Melbourne

Drink an African beer at Polé Polé

Women for Women in Africa is a volunteer-run charity that helps children and families living in Nairobi’s giant Kibera slum. To help raise funds for their essential work, simply order an African beer or cider at Polépolé bar and kitchen. Profits from sales are donated to the charity to help with education, training and nutrition.

Take the family to Carols by Candlelight

Be part of one of Melbourne’s most beloved holiday traditions and take your family to Carols by Candlelight at the Myer Music Bowl. Now in its 81st year, this heart-warming Christmas Eve event gathers thousands of voices, young and old, singing with joy and hope. All funds raised go to Vision Australia, to help children who are blind or have low vision.