We know. It’s been a rough few years for a lot of us. But even rougher for others. Here’s how you can make someone else’s Christmas a little better
It’s not uncommon to get lost in a shopping frenzy and commercial madness over the festive period. We all want to celebrate, forget our troubles, and have fun. But if you’re wondering how you can give back at Christmas, here are a few ideas.
As a start, instead of buying gifts for people that you know they won’t use, consider giving back in their name. Here’s a bunch of inspiration for you….
1. Dedicate a tree, Woodland Trust
When summer comes round, we’re blessed to have such luscious green areas to explore in this country. Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK.
You can dedicate a tree, or entire areas of woodland to a loved one from £20. Choose the woods their tree is in, and even add a bench or marker.
Upon your dedication, you’ll receive a map, information on the woods, and a certificate you can gift to the person. Bring tree-hugging to a whole new level.
For more information, or to donate visit Woodland Trust
2. Donate a Book, Book Trust
Bring some Christmas magic to a vulnerable child, or a child in care. Donating to the Book Trust will help them gift books to children who need them. And you’ll receive a certificate you can personalise in honour of someone.
For more information, or to donate go to Book Trust
3. Donate for a homeless person, Crisis
We know it’s a struggle for homeless people to stay warm in the winter. It’s true that you can help out at various Crisis centres over the season – helping to cook and serve Christmas lunch, volunteer on Boxing Day etc. But often these volunteer slots get filled up quite quickly.
Don’t despair if you aren’t able to help in person. Donating to Crisis will help provide a place to stay for a homeless person, and go towards all the food and festivities that are organised.
For more information, or to donate visit Crisis
4. Buy Christmas dinner for a dog or animal, Miracle’s Mission
For dogs and cats waiting for their forever home, donating to Miracle’s Mission can provide them with a meal or toy. There’s loads of ways your donation can help.
It’s not just people who love to celebrate! Miracle’s Mission is a UK registered animal welfare charity working to provide safety and support to animals in need worldwide. Working predominantly in the UK, Borneo & Egypt, the charity is ever expanding to help animals in need worldwide.
Fore more information, or to donate for an animal in need, visit Miracle’s Mission
5. Buy a meal and someone will get one for free, Frankie and Benny’s in partnership with Feeding Britain
Frankie and Benny’s has partnered with Feeding Britain this festive season. For every turkey meal they sell, they’ll donate £1 to Feeding Britain. The charity helps provide access to good, quality food to those in need. We’d say eat out to help out, but that slogan, ahem, has been taken.
For every dinner bought, Frankie and Benny’s donate £1 to Feeding Britain – which is the cost of a meal for one person in need, according to the charity.
Sasha Storey, Frankie & Benny’s Head of Brand, said: “Frankie & Benny’s is a restaurant brand with families at its core, so it’s really important for us that we support other families in need at this time of year.
“The cost of living crisis will be hard for so many and we must remember to try to help others now and in the future as best we can.”
For more information, or to donate visit Feeding Britain
6. Send a child a secret Santa, Action for Children
Send a present to a vulnerable child with Action for Children. Not all children will experience a magical Christmas with plenty of presents under the tree.
However, you could change this for one child. Donate £25 to Action for Children, and they can provide a vulnerable child with a Christmas present this year.
For more information, or to give, visit Action for Children
7. Jelly drops for dementia, Jelly Drops
Not a charitable donation, but Jelly Drops can be gifted to the elderly or those with dementia. They are sugar free sweets designed for water intake, for those who struggle to stay hydrated. Made of 95% water and full of electrolytes, but consumed in a solid form. Provide a way for independent hydration to those who otherwise struggle.
Purchasing some for your own elderly family members or even donating to a local dementia care home would be a perfect way to give back to the older generation of society.
For more information, or to purchase Jelly Drops visit their website
8. Donate a shoebox, Samaritans Purse
Buy a shoebox gift for a child through Samaritans Purse. You can choose the gender and age of a child you’d like to gift to. Then pick the items – soft toys, a ball, or music instrument, along with an essentials kit. Samaritans Purse will pack and send the shoebox you created.
For more information, or to create your Shoebox visit Samaritans Purse
9. Gifts that give, Macmillan Cancer Support
Unfortunately cancer now effects 1 in 2 of us. Many people and families are still living with cancer, which can make Christmas an unsettling time, and harder to enjoy.
Macmillan has plenty of gifts you can donate, to help provide a security and support to someone facing cancer this season.
You can also make donations in someone’s name. Starting from £10, which would help pay for supporting a child’s grief, or £32 which would pay a nurse for an hour to support a cancer patient.
To donate a gift visit Macmillan’s website
10. Send a gift, Unicef
For children living in areas of disaster, where hunger, disease, and violence is part of daily life, Unicef ensures as many children as possible are protected from these threats.
Send a gift in a family member’s name through Unicef to help protect these children. You can pick gifts from 200 bars of soap, measles vaccines, or even delivering a baby.
Unicef will post a card for free, to the person you’ve dedicated your donation to.
For more information and to send a gift, visit Unicef
Lana can usually be found spinning her collection of records, or writing odd poems in her phone notes. Her mixer of choice is a ginger beer, and you’ll never find her away from the sea for more than a few weeks.
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