How to have a charitable Christmas

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Christmas tends to be the season of giving so why not do something charitable this year? Here’s some ideas to get you started…

Donate some money
Why not set aside some of your Christmas budget to donate directly to charity? You may have a charity in mind – if not, find a charity that matters to you by using the Charities Aid Foundation’s Charity Search.
 
Volunteer your time
If you’ll need to be frugal with cash this year, you can always donate your time to charity instead.


Some volunteering ideas include:
  • Give your time at a local food bank – you can find opportunities through The Trussell Trust
  • FareShare, which operates a network of charitable food distributors, is on the lookout for drivers, warehouse staff, admin assistants and other volunteers
  • Homelessness charity Crisis is running ‘Crisis at Christmas’ centres in Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh, London, Merseyside, Newcastle, Oxford and south Wales – these provide meals, entertainment and support for homeless people over Christmas
  • Talk to vulnerable people from home – via a phone call, text or email – by joining a ‘buddy scheme’ such as one operated by Age UK
 
Give a gift to children spending Christmas in hospital
This year Masthaven’s charity partner, Spread a Smile, is running a Gift Drive to bring gifts to critically ill children who will be spending Christmas in hospital away from their family and friends. Spread a Smile wants to deliver more than 2,350 toys and games to children under the care of its 20 NHS partners. If you want to support the drive, you can get involved by: 
 
  • Purchasing a toy or game. Go here to purchase a gift from the charity’s wish lists at either Amazon or John Lewis. You can also find details of where to deliver pre-bought new gifts
  • Donating toys/gifts. If you work or have links in the toy/games/retail industry and can donate multiple gifts in kind the charity would love to hear from you. Please contact [email protected]
 
Help your older neighbours
Age UK has suggested some ‘small acts of kindness’ to help out your older neighbours who might be feeling lonely or need some help with tasks. Here are a few suggestions:
 
 
Opt for charitable cards
Buy Christmas cards from organisations that give a percentage – or all – of the profit from them to charity. Get them from places including Oxfam, the British Heart Foundation and Barnardo’s. Alternatively, why not send an online Christmas card and donate the money saved to charity?

 
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