Give a gift to a stranger

Christmas is a time for contemplation, good food and – of course – presents around the Christmas tree. But while some people can’t afford any of it, others spend way too much on giving gifts that people really don’t need. Perhaps it makes more sense to contribute to one of these Advent campaigns?

Gift exchange

The Caritas Zurich gift exchange campaign asks you to donate two toys (in good condition) and get one back in return. The surplus toys are given as Christmas gifts to children from poor families.

The collection runs until 6 December and the exchange takes place at various locations on the afternoon of 11 December.

For more information click here.


Two Times Christmas

The 2x Christmas campaign run by the Swiss Red Cross distributes parcels to people living in poverty and to social welfare institutions in Switzerland such as women’s shelters, homes for abused children, refugee shelters and help centres for people in need. Simply make up a parcel and drop it off free of charge at your local post office. If you don’t have time to make up a parcel, you can also donate an online parcel to people in need in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova or via the Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent. Online parcels can be sent at any time of the year.

If you’d like to send a parcel by post, please hand it in between 24 December and 11 January.

For more information click here. 


Parcels for Eastern Europe

Every year, people in Switzerland donate tens of thousands of parcels to the needy in Eastern and Southeastern Europe as part of Aktion Weihnachtspäckli, a Christmas parcel campaign. The parcels should contain basic foodstuffs, toiletries, school supplies, toys and sweets. They are then taken to Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Belarus and Ukraine and given to people who are affected by poverty. If you don’t have time to make up a parcel, you can also donate money to help cover the transport and distribution costs.

Various dates.

For more information click here.


Züri schenkt

Züri schenkt is a Christmas campaign that supports refugees and people in need. This year it aims to give around 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers a gift and card bearing a nice greeting. Parcels for children should contain toys, while winter gear and umbrellas are appreciated by adults. If you don’t have time to make up a parcel you could make a donation towards continuing free sports courses for refugees.

Gifts can be dropped off until 16 December.

For more information click here.