Christmas… The time of year where we give gifts to our loved ones, and celebrate our love and unity. But what about those less fortunate?
Altruistic acts of kindness are very much in keeping with the general theme of Christmas, and we can extend these to strangers, too. It’s a fabulous way to spread a little festive cheer and bring some good to the world at a time where many families are struggling. We asked the parents over in our online community to tell us what acts of kindness they take part in at Christmas, and we had some excellent suggestions!
We hope that this helps to inspire you during the festive period – pay it forward.
Donate to a food bank
It’s a sad fact that in 2019, we’re more reliant on food banks as a nation than ever before. The Trussell Trust has collated data that indicates that in the last five years, food bank use in their UK network has increased by a shocking 73%! Many attribute this to the introduction of Universal Credit and the six week delay in applications being processed, leading to calls for the government to abolish Universal Credit completely.
Donating to a food bank is really easy and shouldn’t cost you a lot; for £5, you can get a surprising amount of basic food. The Trussell Trust has worked with nutritionist to compile this list of recommendations;
- Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce
- Lentils, beans and pulses
- Tinned meat
- Tinned vegetables
- Tinned fruit
- UHT milk
- Fruit juice
Some banks also accept non essential food items – ask your local food bank what they’re in need of!
Donate to a toys and clothes bank
Lots of our parents donate unwanted toys (used and unused) to a local toy bank if the toy has a little life left in it! You can find your local toy banks and clothes bank here!
This is also a great opportunity to have a destash before Christmas – I’m sure many of you do this before the deluge of new clothes and toys before Christmas. You could free up space at the same time as helping others in need this Christmas.
Volunteer for a local group
If you have some spare time over the holidays, why not volunteer for a local group or organisation?
To find relevant groups near you, contact your local council to see if they know of anything that would benefit from an extra set of hands over the festive period.
Take care packages to those in need
Spread a little love this Christmas by putting together a care package for vulnerable people in your community, such as…
- The homeless
- The elderly
- Disabled neighbours
There are loads of things that you could include to make their life a little easier this Christmas. It’s good to include essentials, as well as some lovely treats to spread the festive spirit! Our suggestions are…
- For homeless people; things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, wipes, a blanket, a waterproof cover.
- Packs of drinks
- A gift card to a local cafe or shop.
Take part in the shoebox appeal
You may have already come across this appeal when you were at school – I know I did!
Samaritans Purse is a fantastic organisation who is involved with promoting the shoebox appeal, coordinating donations and getting them sent off to children in need around the world. Their deadline for their 1000 drop-off locations was the 18th of November, but you can still pack a shoebox online and one of their volunteers will pack and send it for you.
Have a wonderful Christmas! We hope that this inspires you to spread some love.
Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx