Gift Aid: A Simple Choice That Can Do Even More

It only takes a few minutes to Gift Aid your donations. But it can make a huge difference.

It’s a simple process to Gift Aid your donations. But it can make a world of difference.

What's great about Gift Aid? It’s paid by the UK government, so it doesn’t cost you anything extra. When you choose to Gift Aid, charities receive an extra 25% on top of your donation, provided you’re a UK taxpayer. Every £1 donated to Compassion will be worth £1.25 if you choose to Gift Aid your donations.

For many of us, deciding to Gift Aid our donations is as easy as ticking a box. But for the children and families Compassion serves, that simple decision can be a lifeline.

Gift Aid funds are being used to support unsponsored children

Six-year-old Sophia in Brazil has been part of Compassion’s programme since she was four, but she doesn’t have a sponsor to encourage her. While the world she sees around her is one of poverty and limitations, she gets the opportunity to overcome her circumstances through her Compassion programme as she waits for a sponsor.

Sophia is sitting at a wooden table in her home

“I love to talk to my ‘aunts’ (project volunteers), play ball with my friends at the centre and draw. I already know how to write my first name! I love the food they make there; it’s delicious,” says Sophia.

COVID-19 emergency relief

Gift Aid funds have been used to further support the COVID-19 Emergency Relief fund – a fund that helps people like Rachel with emergency food relief.

A lady receives food supplies thanks to Gift Aid

Rachel was devastated when she could no longer sell pots and charcoal stoves in the Gakenke market due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Suddenly, she had lost her income to provide for her children, including Pacifique, a Compassion sponsored child.

“With the lockdown, I was not able to get food to feed my children and myself. I earn a living making pottery. When the lockdown was announced, we were told only people selling food were allowed to sell in the market. This was a blow to so many of us. We hadn't saved money for such times and we don’t even have a garden to harvest from,” explains Rachel.

“I'm so excited that the [Compassion] project remembered us during this pandemic and they have given us food. I give God the glory. We have been given maize flour, beans, cooking oil, soap, and sugar. As a mother, I'm very happy that my children are not going to die of hunger.”

Across Rwanda, Compassion has provided food relief to more than 10,000 families.

Gift Aid funds are being used to support disaster relief

Gift Aid will also be released to support people where the need is greatest, like our Disaster Relief programme.

A woman and child in their flooded home in Indonesia

When Pekalongan in Indonesia flooded, Compassion staff could respond to the disaster, wading through floodwaters to ensure children and families received the help they needed.

“Our first priority is to give the families meals to eat and provide them with a necessary emergency health kit,” explains project coordinator, Heris.

This disaster package included food, diarrhoea medicine, blankets, aspirin, and skin ointment.  The food consisted of ready-made meals, so families didn’t need to worry about cooking.

A girl wades through flooded streets in Indonesia

Eleven-year-old Eva lives in one of the most severely impacted areas of the city. While her parents stayed at their house to prevent further damage, she evacuated to a relative's house nearby, so she could continue her online schooling.

Every couple of days, her mother would visit and check on her. It’s normally not difficult to travel the distance between the two homes, but the flood waters make the travel tricky.

"I always look forward to the time my mother visits," says Eva.

Heris and his team believe food distribution and emergency health kids as an early response measure is essential. Families’ access to groceries and supplies is made even more difficult because of the flooding. The emergency health kit ensures children are safe and their basic needs are met even during a disaster.

Child survival interventions

When Thomas was abandoned by his mother as a newborn, it was his aunt Adi who took him in and cared for him.

Adi was faced with a life-changing situation, taking on the full-time care of Thomas without any knowledge of newborn nutrition and unable to breastfeed him herself. Feeding him various porridges, Adi tried to keep Thomas alive. Though he was surviving, his development was hindered.

Gift Aid supports babies and caregivers

At seven months old, Thomas still looked like a newborn baby, suffering from severe malnutrition. Fearing for Thomas' life, Adi approached a Compassion project for help.

"When I saw Thomas' physical condition, I feared that he would not survive. He was so thin and was not moving. He was hardly breathing," recalls Ablam, the project director.

Compassion staff took action and rushed Thomas to the hospital for intensive care. Thomas had to be admitted for more than two weeks.

"It is by the grace of God that Thomas is still alive," says Ablam. "Thomas is a testimony to God's grace and His work through the project."

Baby Thomas and his caregiver meet with a Compassion staff worker

The project staff gave Adi extensive education on child health, nutrition and development. They provided infant milk every week for Thomas, ensuring his nutritional needs were being met.

Thomas's physical development drastically changed as his nutritional needs were met. He was growing, playing, interacting and looking healthy.

"I want to thank all the project workers, may the Lord bless them," says Adi. "I pray that Compassion donors are healthy; may the Lord reward them for their generosity."

A boy laughs and runs in Togo

What your Gift Aid means

Lives are changed when you choose to Gift Aid your donations.

If you sponsor one child for one year, Compassion can claim an additional £84 in Gift Aid income, at no cost to you, from the UK government. Last year, this extra £84 meant our church partners could feed a family in lockdown for a month. 

Since the pandemic began, more than 10 million food packs and 7 million health kits have been distributed to children and their families in the countries where we work. With the help of Gift Aid from UK supporters, we provided 185,000 of those food packs and 146,000 of those hygiene packs.

In the last financial year, Compassion UK sent more than £5.1 million of Gift Aid funds to our projects around the world.

A boy put his hands together in a prayer pose in Thailand

How can you help?

If you pay tax in the UK, every £1 you give to Compassion UK could be worth £1.25 – additional funds that can be used where the need is greatest.

If you haven’t already done so, we’d be most grateful if you’d help by providing your Gift Aid status. You can do so by going into your myCompassion account and clicking on the button in the Gift Aid box. Or, if you're a Compassion UK App user you can do this by navigating to 'Account Details' and selecting 'Sponsorship Preferences'.

Agnes Wilson

Words by Agnes Wilson


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