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Posted by Linda

It will soon be Valentines Day so we thought we would take a look through some of the gifts available from the online charity shops and list some of our favourites. We have tried to split the gifts into 'for her' and 'for him'. 

First here is a tiny summary of the history of Valentines Day to get you in the mood!

Valentines Day is more formally known as Saint Valentines Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine and observed in many countries around the world. 

It began as a celebration of a number Christian Saints with the name Valentine. 

It only later became connected with romantic love and used to also be a celebration of the coming of Spring.  

The giving of cards, chocolates and flowers is said to have originates in the UK but many counties and regions have their own unique ways of acknowledging these saints. These include knocking on the back doors of houses and leaving sweets and presents for children in Norfolk and showing acts of appreciation for friends in some Latin American countries. 

We had a quick scoot around the products on our affiliates charity websites and these instantly struck us as great gift ideas for that special lady or gent in your life:

Charity memberships as a Valentine's gift

The want2donate.org website has stacks of partner charities that offer memberships. These often come with great benefit to you and the charity which include free access to special properties or information and all sorts of other goodies.

For example a membership subscription to allow access to great sites and properties like the National Trust or English Heritage

Both National Trust and English Heritage memberships can be bought for individuals or couples - so you can be sure to both get access to the many stunning properties and natural sites these organisations manage.

For the flower lovers, RHS membership is sure to be a hit. Everyone has heard of London’s ‘Chelsea Flower Show’ - well, its the Royal Horticultural Society who manage that event. Membership of the RHS will see you get discounted tickets to all its shows of horicultural excellence as well as free entry to it’s famous gardens like Wisely or Rosemore.

RSPB membership could be a great gift for the husband who loves our avian friends. It's great value and has all sorts of benefits. With over 90p per £1 going straight to their conservation work. When you buy RSPB gift membership you also get a free book - ‘The Handbook of British Birds’.

WWF memberships are also very popular and the annual fee all goes to help their battle to keep the planet in good shape for future generations. You can buy gift membership too. Each membership comes complete with a personal membership card, a panda pin badge and the WWF ‘Action’ magazine which comes out 3 times a year.

Charity gifts from overseas development charities as a Valentine's gift

Again, after a look around the several charity gift sites we have listed on our site, we thought the following would make awesome gift ideas for those who like to support communities in developing countries.

Concern Gifts start from just £7 and help some of the world’s poorest people and communities transform their lives. Some of the gifts include malaria prevention kits, chickens, donkeys, blankets and gifts that help with education.

It’s also worth mentioned that Concern really encourage their supporters to buy gifts through the Concern Gifts website, as it saves on expensive administration time and costs for the charity. Another awesome thing to mention is they have the handy categories. 

Present Aid have more than 30 uncommon gift ideas that all go to help people who are living in tough conditions around the world - more than 50 countries in fact.

The gifts fund six projects that include education, clean water and sanitation and healthcare. They’re definitely pushing Valentine’s Day on their homepage right now and you can even win a free bar of Divine Chocolate when you buy a gift from their special Valentine’s page.

Oxfam Unwrapped is the popular online gifts shop from Oxfam with stacks of gifts that are bound to delight your partner. Especially as right now there are free chocolate hearts available (while stocks last) with every order when you checkout your basket.

Oxfam Unwrapped has become a ‘go-to’ hub for second hand clothing and books and other curious vintage knick-knacks. The money raised from all purchases go towards their global poverty-fighting work.

At the moment they are boasting over 100,000 items so we’re are sure there’s a good chance you will find that special gift.

Save the Children work to help children in developing countries. They have their own shopping site too - called the Save the Children Wishlist. On this site you can choose gifts that go to support their work themes, such as health or education-related gifts.

The prices start from only £5 and you have the option to send an e-card to your loved one with you own message included.

Last up for the international development charity gift shops is Practical Presents, from Practical Action.

This non-profit uses it’s knowledge of technology to help some of the world’s poorest people build their way out of poverty. These gifts start from only £9 and include presents like goats or shearing equipment for animals, items to help life at home like batteries and ecological toilets and things to help with agriculture like seeds and mini mp3 players with pre-recorded podcasts that have lessons on how to effectively farm. (This is because many people in poor communities lack training facilities or cannot read).

You can send e-cards with each Practical Present too, so we’re sure this is just another great way to thrill your partner with a special and alternative gift this Valentine’s Day.

Wish you all the best until the next blog and more exciting updates like new pages for the Macmillan Raffle and Age UK insurance products.

Tax exempt status of registered charities and online security

All of the charities listed on this website are registered with the Charity Commission in the United Kingdom. Like any business, charities have to submit Tax Returns to HM Revenue and Customs, but all donations are declared and the charities do not have to pay tax on them. This means all your donation to charity will help to further their vision and goals.

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Each charity's registered number can be seen prominently displayed on the bottom of their respective pages on this site and underneath their logos.

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