As I’ve grown older Christmas, for me, has become less about presents and more about enjoying time together with family and loved ones. Over the past couple of years I’ve started to make small changes when it comes to Christmas, for example this year I’m doing away with Christmas cards that just get chucked in the bin and instead I’m donating £5 to a charity, where I know the funds will go to a lot more good. Christmas is all about celebration but it’s also a time to think of others, to be selfless and make sure that everyone is enjoying the festivities. Perhaps you’ve got plenty of free time and can volunteer at a homeless shelter or perhaps you just want to do something quick like an online donation, whatever it is it’s all valid and important. Today I thought I’d round up a few charities, places and people that could use some support this Christmas for those that want to help, but are unsure how to.
If you can spare £26.08 this Christmas then you can reserve a place at Crisis for a homeless person in need. Your donation will get them a Christmas dinner, advice on housing, employment, benefits and more, healthcare including dental treatment, hairdressing and massage treatments, learning and skills opportunities and more. That’s a lot for your money. I really like campaign’s like this as you can see exactly where your money is going and it breaks it down so you know you are helping someone in need, it’s incredible looking on the website and seeing how many people have bought multiple places! If you want to make a direct difference this Christmas then this might be the right charity for you.
Foodbanks are vital source of food, and other items such as toiletries, for people in need of urgent help and they are being used by a record number of people now. There will be families all across the country this month left with no money to pay the bills, let alone enough to make a Christmas dinner or exchange gifts, thanks to long waiting times for Universal Credit (a new benefit system put in place by the government). The Trussell Trust lists all the ways you can help on their website, including donating food, clothes, and even your time, or perhaps just a one off donation. Find your nearest foodbank here.
Donate directly to individuals
Often when you donate to charities it can feel like your donation doesn’t make much difference, and sometimes you have no idea what your donation is actually funding but when you donate directly to an individual’s GoFundMe page or fundraiser you’ll be able to see the impact it has first hand. I’ve just recently fundraised for a specialised powerchair. I’m mostly housebound right now and life is standing still but this new power chair will give me back my life. As soon as I have the power chair I will start benefiting greatly and the people who have donated will be able to witness the effect their donation has had on my life. When it comes to crowdfunding it’s the small donations that add up and make the biggest difference so consider sparing £5 here and there this month, if you can, to put a smile on people’s faces.
Small ways to help:
- Check on your elderly neighbours; loneliness can be worse at this time of year
- Donate blood. This is a great way to do some good without spending money
- Donate £5 to charity instead of sending Christmas cards