Giving Back at Christmas
It’s day 19 of the Tropical Christmas Advent Calendar, and today we’re exploring some of the ways we can give back during the Christmas season. We enjoy Christmas as a time to spend with family whilst indulging in foods and gifts, but Christmas is also a time for giving to others. Whether it’s giving money, time or support to charities, or being there for our local community, neighbours and businesses - there’s lots we can all do to give during the Christmas period. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
DONATE TO CHARITY
One of the most popular ways of giving back during the Christmas period is by donating money to charity. You can donate money to your favourite charities doing work for a cause that is important to you. There are so many charities that you can support, whether it’s the bigger charities like Oxfam, The British Heart Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Support, or smaller local and more niche charities in your local area. Another idea is to support people’s personal causes on websites like Just Giving.
If you’re not in a position to donate money, you can also donate your time to charities. Many charities need volunteers, and although things are slightly different in the current climate, there may be ways you can volunteer your time at your favourite charities virtually or following specific guidelines. It’s a good idea to check your favourite charity’s website to find out how best to help them at this time.
Another option is to donate physical items to charities. At this time, many families struggle to afford food and rely on food banks. If you are able to, you can donate some suitable food items to food banks in your local area. The Trussel Trust have some advice on how to donate food to the food banks in their network. Some supermarkets also have areas in the store where you can donate food to their local food bank.
BUY A CHARITY GIFT
A creative way to give to charity in keeping with the spirit of Christmas is to buy your friends and family a charity gift. This is when you give a certain amount of money to charity to go toward to specific area of their work, you are then able to dedicate your donation in the name of your friend or family member as a Christmas gift. Lots of larger charities have initiatives like this such as Unicef, Cafod and World Vision.
The organisation Charity Gifts also lists different physical items you can buy for friends and family for multiple charities where the profits go straight to the charity. You can also buy Charity Vouchers for loved ones where they can donate the value of their voucher to a UK charity that they would like to support.
HELP A NEIGHBOUR
If you have an elderly or vulnerable neighbour that could do with some help, you could offer your services to them. Maybe they need someone to go to the shops for them or to run an errand, this is something you could offer whilst still sticking with any local guidelines in place. If you know of someone who is isolating alone, you could offer them some of your time by chatting with them over the phone or via a video call to help them feel less lonely.
SUPPORT LOCAL AND SMALL BUSINESSES
Lots of businesses have been negatively impacted by the events of this year, so if you are able to, you can support local and small businesses by buying your Christmas gifts and essentials from them this year rather than the bigger chains. This helps them to stay afloat and keep their staff employed. If you aren’t able to shop with them, you can also support them by following them on their social media channels and telling friends and family about them.
If you are well and able to, you are still able to give blood safely. Check the NHS website to find out more and to register.