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 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

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