Although Christmas is a time of year many of us look forward to, other people who aren’t as fortunate can really struggle. Christmas isn’t just about presents, it’s a special time of year to spend around people and to be kind. I try to always give money throughout the year to different charities, but these last couple of years have been extra tough on them. Here are a few things that you can do to give back this Christmas ❤
Donate to a food bank
Food banks are a brilliant way to give a little something to the community. There are multiple ways that you can donate to a food bank. If you have cans or non-perishable food you can donate them to your closest food bank. The best idea is to look up what the food bank needs so that you can buy that in. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any cans and I didn’t want to go shopping due to covid, so instead, I donated some money to Bournemouth Foodbank. Another great charity to donate to are The Trussel Trust, you can use this tool to find your closest food bank. The Trussel Trust run a service to send someone an e-card and the money you would have spent on a physical card goes to the charity instead.
Volunteer at a food bank
Food banks are very high in demand at this time of year. If you have a few spare hours, you could volunteer your time there. I think a lot of places are looking for drivers, so that could be something for you if you don’t want to be around a lot of people. Find the closest one too you & see what they need.
Send Christmas cards
I love sending Christmas cards, I really like picking out which ones to give my family. This year (and last year) I bought plantable cards which I think is a genius idea! I shared them in my post on how to have a sustainable Christmas. I remember when I was younger and I would give a card out to every person in my class, and now I only send a card to about 4 people. If I receive one, it really does make my day as they seem to be getting rarer as the years go by.
Sadly there are lots of people around the world that will go without presents. Christmas as a kid is so much fun so donating a toy to someone less fortunate is a really nice idea. At The Works, you can pick out a present and they will donate it on behalf of you. I think it’s in-store only, as I can’t find anything on their website – my friend told me about it.
Buy from charity shops
Another way to give back this Christmas is buying your presents for your family & friends at a charity shop. As I have said before, there are so many reasons why you should buy second-hand. I used to worry that others would think I was being a cheapskate, but it’s a win-win situation buying from charity shops. If the recipient doesn’t like it, it’s no hard feelings and they can donate it back. It gives money to charity, and charity shops sell so many unique products. You can literally find anything in there!
It’s really important to shop local and from small businesses. I think a gift from a small business is so much more personal than ordering from a big brand online. Etsy is where I go when I’m trying to find a present for someone. There are so many small businesses, so you are bound to find one that you like! Shopping local is a great way to enhance the city because it makes it more unique.
Check on people who live alone
Last year was especially tough for those who lived alone as they couldn’t spend Christmas with loved ones. Those without family or who are unable to meet up might be feeling a bit lonely. If you know anyone who is living alone, try and give them a call or send them some treats through the post!
Have a festive cake sale
This might not be the best idea with covid numbers rising, but a cake sale is a great way to raise the spirits in your community. There are so many charities that you could donate to, with lots of them needing extra help over the festive period.
Make blanket squares or baby hats
Knitting blanket squares is a great way to give back this Christmas. A blanket is an essential item for keeping warm over the cold winter and so many people are without it. Alternatively, you could knit a baby hat for premature or sick babies. There are a variety of amazing charities, here are some I have found:
Pack a shoebox of essentials for a child online
I remember making these at Guides or school and having them sent off to less fortunate children around the world. It’s too late to make your own one and send it off, but you can pack a shoebox online. First, you pick the gender and what age group, then an essentials pack is added. This consists of school & hygiene essentials. You get to choose 2 large toys, 2 small toys and 3 accessories. It’s optional to add a photo or write a note at the end. It costs £20, with £5 protecting it.
Donate to a charity instead of a gift for someone
Donating to any charity is amazing, but I think it’s really nice when you are buying a specific thing for the charity cause. For example, in Oxfam, they do charity gift cards and you can pick what the money goes towards. There’s currently a 50% off sale but normally the lowest is £5 and it goes up to £250. I love this idea and have given one to my brother in the past.
Another option is toilet twinning. You can twin your tap, toilet, toilet block, bin or fridge and another one is built in a town that needs it. We take for granted all of these things, especially bins. Horrible diseases, like covid, spread extremely easily when there aren’t cleaning facilities or bins available. Twinning your fridge provides food vouchers for families in need, as well as rice & beans.
The Woodland Trust sell virtual gifts which are a bit like the Oxfam ones, only they are for wildlife instead. The prices range from £10 to £30, with the money going towards trees for bees, hedgerows, flowers etc. This would be perfect for your nature-loving friend.
Best wishes, Cx