How charitable are you during the festive season?

Progetto Rwanda

Rwanda i Volti delle Mille Colline

ROMA, Italy — As we all know, charitable giving is encouraged during December and the festive season. Below we have tried to answer some of the frequently questions about charity in general and during the festive season in particular. Why should we donate to charity? What does charity (work) mean and what does it achieve? Do charities receive more attention and money during December and the festive season?

Let’s take a closer look at charity work!

Five good reasons to donate to charity

Etymologically, charity work means “The voluntary giving of help to those in need, as a humanitarian act. Giving (your money or time) to others or for a cause can also benefit your (the giver’s) psychological, spiritual and (emotional) well-being.”

According to a recent study by Harvard Business School “Feeling Good about Giving the Benefits (and Costs) of Self-Interested Charitable Behavior”, there are, at least, five reasons to donate to charity:

• Donations are tax deductible
• Giving to charity may improve your sense of well being
• Supporting a cause can help keep you informed about issues of social injustice
• Giving to charity out of spiritual conviction can strengthen your spiritual life
• Volunteering with a charity may result in physical and social benefits

So we just need to donate!

Charities with celebrity supporters

Most famous celebrities do a lot of charity work by giving money and involving themselves in philanthropy to help others, thus using their popularity for social good. Who are the most generous ones?

Despite her young age, Taylor Swift has already founded a campaign to protect children from online predators. She is also active with UNICEF, Red Cross and Children in Need. Mel Gibson has donated $10 million to reimburse hospitals that cared for seriously ill children. He also donated $7 million to the Church of the Holy Family in Malibu. South African born actress Charlize Theron founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project. She is also active with Oxfam and the Red Cross.

Other famous celebrities who donate a lot to charity include Giselle Bündchen, Elton John, Bono, Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson, and many others including some of the most beautiful women and best singers and actors of all time, proving that they are more than just pretty faces!

Christmas charity events

Legambiente for Chernobyl Children. Thirty years after the Ukraine nuclear disaster, more than 1 million children still live with dangerous levels of radioactivity. The Progetto Rugiada by Legambiente and Weleda can accommodate one hundred of these children in non-contaminated countries such as Belarus. If you want to contribute to this cause, you just need to get one of the Christmas Weleda natural cosmetics’ boxes. More information on

Also in December, the Unicef Square Initiative “Adotta Una Pigotta” was launched, a rag doll programme helping UNICEF to fight child mortality.

The WWF was also busy in December with the launch the campaign #diamovoce, an initiative trying to prevent animal slaughter. You can support it with a donation or by adopting a protected species of puppy at

“Rwanda i Volti delle Mille Colline”

Witness Image and Progetto Rwanda, with the support of Nando Peretti Foundation, collaborated with the purpose of promoting projects in Rwanda to support education and training of women and children through images. “After the field mission, engaging the public in order to raise funds to support these humanitarian projects in Rwanda, it seemed like the right thing to do,” comments Luca Catalano Gonzaga (photographer and co-founder of Witness Image) and Benedetta Lauricella (Progetto Rwanda’s supervisor).

“Rwanda i Volti delle Mille Colline” is a journey into humanity. As Luca and Benedetta state: “This photography exhibition aims to capture the real life of women and children who populate those territories.” They continue:

Each image is an emotional expression: a hand gesture, a deep, timeless glance, a soul, but also a woman’s path. Our fieldwork is the life of every day!

The photography exhibition will be open until the end of January 2016 in Rome at Spazio Ducrot (Viaggi Dell’Elefante Tour Operator‘s headquarters). All the proceeds from picture sales will be donated to support the Nursery School Canteen Service in Kicukiro district, Kigali, Rwanda.

“We know that December and the festive season offers a lot of charity events, but we believe in the images’ power; they tell a story about being able to evoke empathy and interest in pushing people to donate to charity,” conclude Luca and Benedetta reminding us to be generous!

COURTESY OF AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Luca Catalano Gonzaga, Witness Image and Benedetta Lauricella, Progetto Rwanda.
Alessandra Frega About the author

Lawyer, blogger and aesthete, brings hidden gems and established brands from Italian fashion. With a degree in Law and a Master’s in Diplomatic Studies, her fun loving alter ego has a passion for fashion.