It would be fair to say that 2020 has been the weirdest year. The covid pandemic was a real shock to the world and most have been affected by it in one way or another. It changed everything we had planned but I am absolutely determined that it won’t affect Christmas. (Even if it seems we’re heading back into a national lockdown…). Our little tradition with Ita of giving back is needed more now than ever. Seeing so many families and businesses affected this year has really put so much into perspective.
I personally feel that Christmas is so important. It stays with you into adulthood and it’s when memories are made. For some, it’s an especially hard time though.
There is so much that you can do when it comes to being generous during the festive period. Even buying a bit extra on your food shopping and donating it to your local food bank is incredibly kind and will go to a family who needs a little help.
I did a blog post on ‘Giving Back’ last year which is still pretty relevant so this year I have decided to focus specifically on children (and toy donations).
For many years we have donated new toys and selection boxes to our local hospital because I have always felt especially sad for children who are unwell and who have had to spend the festive period in hospital. The new toys are wrapped by the fundraising department and handed out to the children on Christmas morning as an extra special gift.
Having had a mum who worked every single Christmas day as a nurse for almost 22 years, I also felt rather sorry for the staff too, so we have sent lots of chocolate in the past!
This year, our local hospital is unsure whether they can accept physical gifts/ donations due to the virus and the risks involved. With this in mind, and still wanting Ita to learn how fortunate she is, I have found some amazing charities who we will be donating new toys to. However, it does not need to be a bag of gifts that you donate, one is enough to make a difference to a childs Christmas.
ALDERHEY CHRISTMAS CHARITY APPEAL
Alderhey arrange to accept toys at Christmas time for their Christmas charity appeal. The toys are set aside into ones for children to play with at the hospital and ones to gift children who are very unwell.
For more information about how they manage toy donations at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, then please contact them via the link below. They will arrange a drop off time to ensure everything is safe.
GREAT ORMOND STREET APPEAL
Much like Alderhey, GOSH accept donations in the form of money and also toys.
Please do contact them before donating toys because their criteria is different to Alderhey. Email is below along with the link to their website.
Where to send your gifts;
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity
Many Salvation Army churches and centres across the UK will be running a Christmas Present Appeal, collecting donated presents until mid-December.
Please support your local Christmas Present Appeal by finding your nearest appeal and donating new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children who might not otherwise receive a Christmas present.
The gifts will then be wrapped and distributed to those in need.
To find out where to donate your gift or for more information on the Christmas Present Appeal please contact your local Salvation Army church or centre.
KIDSOUT GIVING TREE
If you are working from an office then KidsOut’s Giving Tree initiative invites firms to ditch the Secret Santa and buy toys for children in local refuge homes instead. Many of the recipients are children who have escaped domestic violence, being forced to flee their homes quickly and leave all possessions behind. Without Giving Tree, these children may not otherwise receive a gift at Christmas.
This year, the Giving Tree is going digital because of the Covid issues!
Donations can be made by texting the code GIVINGTREE followed by a space and the amount as a number to 70085.
** For example, to donate £10 you would text the following to 70085: ‘GIVINGTREE 10’. You can opt to give any whole amount up to £20.
EMBRACE DEAR SANTA APPEAL
This one is particularly close to my heart because of my line of work. Dear Santa is a seasonal appeal to deliver gifts of choice to children and young people harmed by serious crime across the UK, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
Children referred for a Dear Santa gift may have suffered trauma as the result of sexual abuse, violence or neglect, or have lost a parent or loved one to homicide.
Dear Santa allows the nominated child to choose their own gift (worth up to £30) which is placed on the Dear Santa Wish List for public donation.
Embrace CVOC will wrap and deliver your gift in time for Christmas Day.
100% of your donation goes to your chosen child.
• To nominate a child you must be police or work in a statutory role. Parental/ Guardian consent is required.
SHOE BOX APPEAL
And of course, the famous shoe box appeal! Each year thousands of people like you generously pack shoebox gifts to bless children in need around the world. Find out all you need to know about how to pack your shoebox gift below.
To find out about other ways to give back, please see last years post in the link below
Which one will you donate to?
If you do take part, please don’t forget to tag us on our Instagram account so I can share 💖