I’d planned on going to Lush and trying out some of their Christmas range; with it being vegan and incredibly yummy…I was looking forward to it.
But I’m going to be completely honest, I’d planned on buying the Lush products on the same day that I bought my things for my Operation Christmas Child shoebox (blog post here). After doing this and reflecting on it throughout buying all the items, I decided it seemed totally unfair and wrong to go and spend £5 on bath bombs, bubble bars and soap etc. Whilst I was looking forward to this blog, and I had ‘advertised’ this blog post…I have to say it won’t be happening today.
I’ll be blogging today about something different instead, I hope you don’t mind. I thought today I’d blog about different ways you can be involved with charity work this festive season.
Whilst for most of us, christmas is a time of happiness, indulgence, treating each other and ourselves, but it’s not like that for everyone. For others, christmas can be a sad, lonely and really difficult time, whether that’s because they’ve lost a loved one, they can’t afford the food and the gifts, or even have no home. Charities are working so hard over this season to help people in all different kinds of situations, so I thought it would be great if I could share some different ways that we could all make a difference to someones christmas this year.
After reading Thursdays blogmas (operation christmas child) – you will know that that’s how I decided to do something for someone else this christmas. I wanted to know that a child would get a gift this year, a child who might have never received a gift in their life, so I filled a shoebox with little gifts, wrapped it up and it will soon be on its way to a different part of the world, far away from here!
I know that not everyone has the time or money to fill a shoebox of gifts for a child, but giving money or items isn’t the only way to make a difference this christmas, your time is so valuable.
Here’s a list of some different ways to get involved with charity work this christmas, there will definitely be one that suits everyone.
- Ask your local food bank what food donations they’re looking for this year, no doubt you will have loads of things already in your cupboard that could be donated. Food banks help families cook meals at christmas to make sure we all eat well this christmas.
- A charity called Refuge are always looking for donations of gifts, they give gifts to women and children who have been victims of domestic abuse and have fled horrible circumstances, often with absolutely no possessions at all.
- Donating old clothes to a charity which helps people at Christmas time
- Asking local homeless charities if your help could be of use, either handing out hot drinks to homeless people, or helping to cook a hot meal for homeless people around the christmas season.
- Become a befriender for the AGE UK – a scheme I was a part of last year, I made a wonderful friend in the process who I am still in contact with now. It costs you nothing and makes such a difference to an elderly member of the community who lives alone and will potentially be spending christmas alone. Luckily my friend that I made, Joan, has lots of family and will not be spending christmas alone. But if she was, and if I lived closer to her, I would definitely be inviting her to my christmas day.
- Donate money to charities who will be able to provide families with a hot meal and heating this christmas.
- Do your own operation christmas child shoebox
- Pay for a bed for someone homeless this christmas.
- Buy a big issue – a company set up by a previously homeless man. I think big issue sellers get a bad rep, these people are trying to make some money, not just sitting around feeling sorry for themselves…they’re actively trying to do something with themselves, I think that’s great. I remember last year my friend Lucy bought a big issue from someone because I had no spare change, it was such a beautiful thing she did. It costs £2 and makes such a difference to someone.
One thing that I think is especially important, is to acknowledge homeless people, this is something that I see happen all the time. People walk past other human beings who are sat on the floor and asking for money, they don’t even look at them or acknowledge their existence. We’re all human beings and we’re all equal, so next time you hear someone asking for money, even if you don’t want to give them any money, buy them a sandwich, a hot drink, or just smile and speak with them…humanity costs nothing.
There’s a way we can all do something this christmas, with or without donating, with or without giving our time…no matter what we can give this christmas, giving something to someone who needs it is the best way to show your humanity this christmas.