Christmas and abundance go together like Rudolph and a red nose but giving is also an important part of the festive season.
Aside from the gifts for friends, family and colleagues, many might be motivated to donate gifts to charities who help those in need. But where to start and what to give?
How about giving to a feline friend in need?
Canberra Pet Rescue is a charity that saves cats and kittens from the streets and the kill lists at pounds. The cats are rehabilitated and then adopted out. Amanda Doelle of Canberra Pet Rescue said, among other things, the charity was in need of kitty litter, toys and money for vet bills.
While gifts are needed for kittens and cats Ms Doelle said they should not be the gifts. She said the charity has a spike in unwanted cats and kittens in the months after Christmas.
"Just after Christmas there are a lot of people that come to us with unwanted kittens that are now not as cute and little anymore and then they decided they don't want them or it was a present from another family member," she said.
"It's really sad we would rather people don't buy them as presents at all. If someone wants a cat or kitten get them to choose it themselves.
"It's really important they find one that matches them and their family instead of one that is just given to them when they don't know about it."
But there are many other organisations in need, here are tips from some local charities.
Here's where and what to donate this Christmas:
What they do: Educates the public about native animals in the ACT through school and community group visits and through phone inquiries. Volunteers are trained in tasks associated with the rehabilitation of wildlife when they are orphaned, sick or injured.
What they need: Quality bird seed, petrol vouchers for animal transport volunteers, second-hand or new artificial grass for animal cages.
How to give: Drop off at ACT Wildlife building, Jerrabomberra Wetlands, 2 Dairy Rd, Fyshwick. 10am-3pm weekdays, call 0432 300 033 to arrange pickup, or donate money directly via the webpage http://www.actwildlife.net/donation-info.html
What they do: Anglicare supports local families in need by providing emergency food relief, case management, referrals and other wraparound services. We also provide support for children and young people in Canberra and Queanbeyan through its early learning services, CYCLOPS young carers program, disability services, recycled clothing stores and its free youth health service.
What they need: Non-perishable food and toiletries. We offer food relief to people throughout the year, but the need increases dramatically over the Christmas period as families experience added financial pressure.
How to give: Food and toiletries can be donated in person at any of the following local centres: St John's Care in Reid, Gordon Community Centre, Arawang Emergency Relief Hub in Kambah, Anglicare office and Junction Youth Health Service in Canberra and Anglicare Retail and Food Fair in Queanbeyan. You can also call 6245 7100 to arrange for collection or for more information.
What they do: Provide low-cost crisis housing to women and their children who have experienced domestic violence.
What they need: Gift cards from stores like Kmart and Target and phone recharge cards. No gift cards that include alcohol or cigarettes please (eg Coles, Woolworths.)
How to give: Call 6230 6900, and they will collect your items.
Canberra Hospital Foundation
What they do: Support patients and their families by responding to the areas of need through community support.
What they need: Activity books, pyjamas, toiletries, pencils, pens, keep cups, cosmetics, scented candles, hand creams, lip balms. All in new and sealed packaging.
How to give: Take donations directly to the main foyer of the Canberra Hospital. Monday - Friday 10am-4pm from Thursday, December 5 to Monday, December 23.
Canberra Pet Rescue
What they do: Rescue cats and kittens about to be euthanised at pounds, and take in those who have been surrendered or abandoned and find them a permanent home.
What they need: Royal Canine kitten wet food, cat litter, worming tablets, flea combs, wet and dry cat food. Cat toys and towers.
How to give: Email email@example.com to arrange a drop-off.
Canberra Refugee Support
What they do: Support refugees in Canberra through advocacy, helping find accommodation, English courses, scholarships and more.
What they need: Furniture and white goods.
How to give: Canberra Refugee Support has an agreement with Fyshwick Salvos, so you can donate to the store directly.
Communities @ Work
What they do: Serve the Canberra community by providing children's services, offering qualifications in early education and care. They also support seniors, people with disabilities and disadvantaged members of the community.
What they need: Non-perishable food, new and unwrapped children's gifts, movie or music vouchers, sort and fitness equipment, make up or jewellery, stationary, board games.
How to give: Take donations directly to the Tuggeranong Community Centre, Gungahlin Community Centre or their giving trees at Gungahlin Village (next to Coles), Gungahlin Community Centre, Southpoint, Cooleman Court and Casey Marketplace.
Community Services #1
What they do: Assist individuals and families experiencing hardship, social groups for Seniors and a Food Pantry.
What they need: Non-perishable food items and wool (for their Seniors Craft Group)
How to give: Take donations directly to Community Services #1 at 63 Boolimba Crescent, Narrabundah
What they do: GIVIT is an online charity which matches donors with 250 trusted charities in the capital region. This Christmas, big-hearted locals can donate Back to School packs in lieu of toys, so that one of the 9000 kids living in poverty in Canberra can start the school year on the right foot.
What they need: GIVIT is seeking donations of Back to School packs for 5- to 16-year-olds which include all 3 items: a backpack, a drink bottle and a lunch box.
How to give: Go to givit.org.au/items-needed and search "Back to School" in ACT.
HOME in Queanbeyan
What they do: Provide long-term supported accommodation for 20 men and women with mental illness who can't live independently, or who may be at risk of homelessness.
What they need: New pyjamas, underpants, toiletries, toilet paper, and non-perishable foods.
How to give: Call 6284 2409 to arrange a drop-off.
What they do: Offer outreach services and a secure environment for women without support and accommodation who are pregnant or parenting newborns. The service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What they need: Gifts for mothers (not just the kids), including non-perishable food items, gift vouchers from Kmart or Target, and gift vouchers from Woolworths or Coles for women to purchase fresh food for Christmas.
How to give: Call 6259 8998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Post to PO Box 7239, Kaleen, ACT 2617
The Little Pantry (Woden Community Service)
What they do: A place where members of the community can visit in times of need. It's open Thursdays 9.30am-1pm (or any weekday for emergency packs) for people to choose a small number of non-perishable foods and personal items.
What they need: Non-perishable food items and toiletries.
How to give: Drop off donations at Woden Community Service, 26 Corinna St, or call 6282 2644 for more information.
Louisa Domestic Violence Service
What they do: Provides advice, support and crisis accommodation to people escaping domestic and family violence.
What they need: Petrol vouchers (so mothers can visit their families), non-perishable food, and gift cards.
How to give: Call 6299 4799 to arrange a drop-off.
What they do: Offer child and family counselling, support services for people with disabilities and their families, early intervention programs, out-of-home care, post-separation support, and the Autism Centre.
What they need: New and unwrapped gifts for children, teenagers and adults, gift cards, vouchers for all ages.
How to give: Donations can be dropped at the Marymead office: 255 Goyder Street, Narrabundah ACT.
What they do: Receive donations of secondhand infant and children's items and work with more than 35 local social services to provide them to families experiencing hardship.
What they need: Nappies and wipes, back to school supplies, baby and children's toiletries, cot sheets, bassinet and cot mattress protectors, bottle teats and brushes are all urgently needed.
How to give: Items can be dropped off to us during our regular weekly volunteer sessions at Sports Club Kaleen until December 17. The days/times can be found on the website roundaboutcanberra.org
What they do: Home thousands of animals each year, respond to animal cruelty complaints, desex companion animals, and advocate for animal welfare.
What they need: Treats and play toys for all different species and bird seed (dogs and cats tend to get all the gifts!).
How to give: Take donations directly into RSCPA ACT, 12 Kirkpatrick Street, Weston, and put them under their tree. For more information contact 6287 8133.
St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn
What they do: Assist people experiencing poverty and disadvantage in the community. As well as visiting individuals and families in their homes, Vinnies run a range of support programs across the Canberra/Goulburn region.
What they need: New toys, non-perishable food for hampers and blankets.
How to give: Call 6234 7347 or email email@example.com to arrange a pick-up or drop-off or simply drop off at your local Vinnies store.
If you have a group to add to the list, email firstname.lastname@example.org