I was asked to write the first ever Oxfam Unwrapped Christmas catalogue. It was designed by Hunter Design but I had to work directly with the people at Oxfam.
The way the catalogue worked was not to buy a gift for your friend or relative, but to send one from them to a needy person in the developing world.
The idea was to tap into that old “what do you buy the person who has everything?” scenario. If you take Maslow’s view that each of us is positioned on a hierarchy of needs, and that the people on the top rung have satisfied all their lower level practical and emotional needs and now just seek self-actualization, the idea of not giving them anything at all, other than a nice warm feeling that the money is going to a good cause, is pretty smart.
My job was to tell 32 pages of engaging and moving stories about how little things make a big difference in the lives of those who don’t have much. These had to be bright, positive and informative but without belittling the challenges faced by those in the third world.