With all the hype and the promise of amazing discounts everywhere including ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ we often feel under enormous pressure to ‘give’. This doesn’t always have to be something that is materialistic, we can give time, appreciation and of course love.
Traditionally, we give presents as it reminds us of the gifts given to Jesus by the three wise men of gold, frankincense and Myrrh. All over the world families and friends give presents to each other. But what about the people that don’t have anyone or can’t afford to give a gift?
Many people choose to make a charitable donation, however, if you really want to reach someone and make their Christmas extra special there are other things you can do:
Buy a gift for someone in a Refuge
You can buy a gift for a woman or child in a refuge. Not being at home due to abuse and escaping domestic violence can be really distressing. Many of these people have very little and this can really make a difference. You can see the list of gifts and how to help here:
Donate to your local Food Bank
Figures from the Trussell Trust show that in the year to March 2018, 1,332,952 three-day emergency food supplies were delivered to people in crisis across the UK – a 13 per cent increase on last year.
This marks a considerably higher increase than the previous financial year, when it rose by 6 per cent.
Of course, the need doesn’t diminish over the holiday period and as well as every day necessities you can also donate Christmas treats. You can make a donation at many supermarkets when you are doing your own shopping or directly to your local food bank.
You can find your nearest centre if its operated by the Trussell Trust here or a general search if they are not in your area.
Buy a homeless person a meal
Most of us will sit down to a huge Christmas meal and generally over indulge over the holiday period. You can help a homeless person by reserving a place at Crisis at Christmas, it costs £28.18 and this is what they receive:
- A warm welcome and good company
- Three nutritious, hot meals daily, including a delicious Christmas dinner
- A bed for the night, if needed
- A chance to shower, freshen up and get clean clothes
- A health check and treatment from a doctor, optician and dentist
- Expert help with mental health and addiction problems
- Advice on housing, employment and benefits
Additionally, a way out of homelessness for good through Crisis’ year-round training, education and support.
To find out more, the Crisis website is available here.
Help a missing person
Missing People offers a lifeline to the 180,000 people who run away and go missing each year in the UK. They are an independent charity funded by donations and they search for missing people on behalf of the friends and family left behind and provide specialised support to ease their heartache and confusion. Their free, confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day by phone, text and email to support missing children and adults, and their loved ones.
To volunteer or make a donation, please visit the website here.