Whilst watching some TV with my 6 year old son yesterday an advert came on from the Salvation Army asking people to make donations to help old and lonely people at this time of year. My son looked up and asked me “will we be doing that mum”?
We as a family do our bit for charity, we always donate to collectors in town and in the stores, always drop a few coins in any boxes that are at the checkout in the stores, via both schools when they have charity collections and each Yule we make up a present box for a less fortunate child but his comment made me think about what other ways there are for all of us to help in our communities, not just at this time of the year but all year round. So here are some ideas:
Donate to a charity the cost of a present, there are plenty of charities to choose from and most have websites that you can donate to online to make it even easier.
With the help of your children, sort through their toys and clothes that they have outgrown and donate them to a charity – it will also make room for the new ones they will receive at Yule too!
Purchase Yule cards from your favourite charity, one Pensioners Club that I know make their own handcrafted cards to sell.
Buy gifts for overseas projects, we did this last year from the Good Gifts Guide, gifting mosquito nets, money for literacy skills, clean water and even a goat!
If you buy gifts for your pets see if your local animal hospice sells any items, the money will then go to the hospice to help the animals.
Buy an extra gift and drop it into your local church or shelter.
When doing your festive food shop buy an extra can or two and drop it into your local shelter, or buy extra pet food and drop that into your local animal hospice.
Bake a cake or pudding and seek out a local community group that might like to sell it at their festive fair or use it as a raffle prize.
Check out your local area when buying your Yule tree, a lot of local community groups sell trees.
If you are hosting a Yuletide party, ask your guests to donate a coin or two to your nominated charity.
Buy fair-trade food and drinks for your Yuletide festivities.
Something that will cost you nothing but a bit of time – donate blood!
Check in on any elderly neighbours to make sure they are OK.
If you are buying a new mobile phone or computer this year, check out your local area to see if there is anywhere you can donate your old one to.
And what about those presents you receive that are not really your kind of thing? Donate them to a local charity.
Recycle your Yule cards, plenty of places collect them after the festivities.
Try and shop locally for your festive food and gifts, keep the small businesses going or use the online sites folky and etsy.
Even when it’s chilly it’s nice to get outside for a walk with the family, visit a local park or beach and pick up the litter as you go.
I would love to hear any other ideas!