Creative Christmas present idea sees material goods replaced with kindness

9:00am Wednesday 25th December 2013

If unwanted Christmas presents have the tendency to build up in your cupboard, then maybe a new approach to gift-giving is for you.

Fenella Kemp, who lives in Chailey, has come up with a unique way to give and receive presents, putting emphasis on genuine kindness and removing the need to spend too much money on expensive items.

Her brainchild www.ipromiseiwill.co.uk allows people to sign a Christmas pledge or promise to spend some quality time with a loved one, or simply do something kind for someone.

After making a pledge they make a donation to charity and their promise, whether it is to take the kids away on a weekend trip or just to spend some more time with a family member, is in writing for all to see.

Fenella said: “Recently we’ve seen an overwhelming shift towards minimalism – global disasters and awareness of how fortunate we are is having a massive effect on consumerism.

“We’re overloaded with stuff and I Promise I Will is about getting back to basics and helping the people you care about.”

Her inspiration for the project came while watching the London Olympics.

She said: “I watched and read a lot about the joy of the volunteers who gave their time freely to bring happiness to so many other people.

“Everyone wants to feel useful and needed – lots of people would love some help in some way and there are loads of charities to give to that do such wonderful work.”

Charities to which I Promise I Will currently facilitates donations include Save the Children, Centrepoint and International Animal Rescue.

Abi Robertson, community events fundraiser at Save the Children, said: “We’re thrilled that I Promise I Will has chosen to support us through such an innovative fundraising idea.

“This is a great alternative gift idea for friends and family through a simple concept of giving that also allows the user to donate to charity.”

I Promise I Will’s launch comes just as the Archbishop of Canterbury has advised families to avoid the stress of mass consumerism over Christmas.

Last year £2.5 billion pounds worth of unwanted Christmas presents were received, with an average worth of £43 per British adult.

To take part visit www.ipromise iwill.co.uk.

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