At this time of year TIAA often sends gift packages out to all our team members, this year we have decided to do something different. We are committed as a company to giving something back and have a strong track record of supporting local, national and international causes. We have therefore decided to make contributions to several good causes this year with the money set aside for gifts. These causes include;

Give a step up to African amputees

Prosthetic limbs, outgrown by UK users, are collected and refurbished by volunteers in the UK. Instead of ending up in landfill, they are sent out to more than 13 African countries, where 28 Mobility Clinics have been set up, and the staff trained to reuse and fit the artificial legs so amputees can walk again. It saves waste, gives volunteers a sense of purpose and gets people walking. 

Village loo

The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone highlighted the need for toilets and simple washing facilities. This gift buys all necessary pipes and sanitary ware; the villagers will provide the land and labour. 

Health checks for 20

In rural parts of the globe where people are many, but medics are few, a health camp provides an opportunity for mass health checking. A team of 10 doctors, with attendant nurses and dispensary, can see up to 500 people a day. Minor ailments are treated to prevent their developing into something worse. And serious cases can be referred to hospital. 

An eye test and glasses for a child in Africa

An eye test and glasses for a child in Africa so they can see the blackboard. 

Protect half an acre of rainforest

Does your good nature persuade you to protect 330 species of bird? Or 600 varieties of butterfly? Or 1,000 different plants? Do you wish future generations to see Forest Elephants and Pygmy Hippos? Then act now to preserve West Africa’s Guinea Forest, a biodiversity hotspot under threat from illegal logging, bush meat hunting and land appropriation. And, don’t forget, preserving a rainforest puts a serious dent in global warming. 

School tree pack

Everyone agrees, more trees add to the quality of life, and air. Many schools have an unloved space around the school. They’d welcome the chance to plant trees to improve their surroundings. Buy them a tree pack – 60 saplings of birch, rowan and cherry, or a hedgerow pack of hawthorn, dog rose, hazel and dogwood. Both kits provide year round colour, and the hedgerow pack, nuts and rosehips that the children can harvest. A bonus for the teacher is that it links into the curriculum. 

Solar cooker and water heater

In rural Africa, women walk far, in great personal danger, to collect firewood. At home, they risk fire, burns and smoke inhalation every time they prepare a meal. Using Africa’s super-abundant sun, our solar cookers and water heaters save trees and energy. 

Plant 10 metres of hedgerow

Disappearing fast, traditional English hedgerows are habitat for over 600 different plants, 65 species of bird, 21 mammals and 1500+ insects. One hedgerow kilometre requires 60 trees and 5,000 hedging plants. Your eco-investment in flora and fauna will delight future generations. 

Present for an elderly patient

Give a present to an elderly patient, stuck in hospital, unable to go home for the holidays. 

Warm clothes & a teddy

Warm clothes & a teddy for children in a UK women’s refuge who have had to leave it all behind. 

Homework club

Improve the educational opportunities for children from poor families, here in the UK. After school homework clubs provide safe supervision, and gentle mentoring, raising children’s aspirations and attainments, and giving them, through education, a chance of a better-paid job. 

Feed an abandoned cat or dog

Feed an abandoned cat or dog for a month. 

A week’s hot dinners for a pensioner

A week’s hot dinners at the day centre for lonely pensioners.