Christmas is my favourite holiday, the decorations, the cold weather and the giving & receiving. Pretty much everyone loves to receive something at Christmas and most people will receive more than a couple gifts on Christmas day. During this festive season, it is so easy to forget that there are people out there who will not receive anything this year. The likelihood is, we are all too busy to remember, we are darting around trying to make the house look festive with all the decoration, as well as trying to buy everyone’s presents and wrapping them. People are stressing over not having enough time to buy and make all the food for Christmas day and not having enough bows and sellotape for the presents they still need to wrap. It is so easy to remember, not everyone will have presents under their tree this year, some might not even have a house to live in, to have a tree. If we just stop for a little while, we can see that there are so many people who are going to have the worst Christmas this year. They won’t get presents or a hot Christmas dinner, they might not even have anyone to be with. There are hundreds of homeless men and woman who won’t get hot meal there are children who won’t presents and there are older people who will be alone this Christmas. We need to help them. We do not realise how much we can actually help them. You don’t need to spend money or much time to help someone. Remember, Christmas is about giving, not just giving presents, but giving in general. The homeless will appreciate things like clothes, bedding and toiletries that we take for granted and might even throw out, even though they are in good condition, these things could be going to a homeless shelter, near you. I have decided this year, I am going to give a lot more, then I have in previous years.
Here are 4 different ways you can give to the homeless and lonely this year.
- Money Donation – Money Donation may be the easiest way to give to others, you can donate online in minutes or by post. You can give as little as a pound or as much as you wish. This money does so much, a money donation may mean a charity like Age UK can provide companionship for an elderly person who is alone. Many other charities like save the children and crisis benefit from money donations as they can then afford to buy meals and gifts for people in need.
- Volunteer – Time can be limited during the Christmas season, but even if you carve out an 1 here and there to volunteer for a charity, it would make a huge difference. There are so many different volunteering opportunities, like serving food at a homeless shelter, or becoming a companion for a lonely person. Volunteering is such a selfless thing to do.
- Giveaway – Giving away any old things in your house you no longer use, is a great way to help someone in need. Go around your house and collect anything you no longer use and put them in a box and take them to your nearest charity, post them or use a collection bag( the bags that come through your door) it couldn’t be any easier. Things like towels, flannels, clothes, shoes, furniture, food and toiletries are all great. You may find that you have Christmas gifts you have double off, or you don’t like, that you could give to someone you will actually use them. Doing this costs nothing and these items haven’t gone to waste.
- Make Hampers – Instead of giving a money donation, you could pay gifts for the homeless and make mini ‘hampers’. Get a box and fill it with essentials and maybe some treats that people at a homeless shelter would need. Remember, get what you can afford, people in homeless shelters are there because they have nowhere to live and own nothing, they don’t have a job, and have no money. Homeless Shelters will try and rehabilitate the people they have, so some items will be great to keep people clean and well presented for jobs & job interviews, as well as countless other things. Some Items on this list are deluxe-type items, that not everyone can afford to buy, but others on this list cost less than a £1. You can add;
- Gloves, Hats & Scarves
- Thick socks
- Flannels & Towels
- Food like canned goods & sweets
- Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
- Soap & Hand Sanitizers
- Tissues, Toilet Roll & Face Wipes
- Make-up & Nail Varnish ( if you want to add more ‘treat’ items.)
- Hand Cream, Moisturizer & Body Butter
- Paper/Notebooks, Colouring Books, Pens & Pencils
- Toys & Teddy Bears
- Dog Food, Dog Treats, Spot On & Dog Toys ( Some homeless people have pets, like dogs with them on the streets)
- Hair Brush, Clips & Hair Ties.
- Bag, Clothes & Shoes.
- Body Sprays & Deodorant
- Hot Water Bottles & Dressing Gowns
Here are the links to some of the charities you could help;
savethechildren – https://secure.savethechildren.org.uk
Age UK – http://www.ageuk.org.uk/
Salvation Army – https://www.salvationarmyappeals.org.uk
Shelter – http://england.shelter.org.uk/
Crisis – http://community.crisis.org.uk/