Christmas support. To the lucky ones, Christmas is something to look forward to, whether you celebrate with a roast dinner and all the trimmings followed by hanging out with your family or friends and exchanging presents under a Christmas tree. Hopefully we are all aware that Christmas is also a time to think about how grateful and lucky we are to have any of the above, and how not everyone does. Some people find themselves, through no fault of their own, in a dire situation at Christmas. Christmas is the time these people need even more consideration, whether it’s talks about financial worries, or making sure they or their family don’t have to go without while the rest of the nation celebrates.
Thankfully, there are plenty of places where you can donate your unwanted goodies – or maybe if you can afford it, buy some new ones.
Here are just some examples:
The Salvation Army have drop-off points for their annual Christmas Present Appeal. They’re looking for new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children, and there’s a handy MAP where you can see where your local one is.
Homelessness charity Crisis has Christmas donation wishlists full of desired toys, books, board games, grooming and pampering sets, clothing and food gift cards, food hamper content and loads more.
Each Crisis generally has their own Amazon list to, meaning you can donate specific gifts or items by post from the comfort of your own home.
To donate gifts to this charity that supports women and children fleeing abuse, visit Refuge’s Donate page. You can spend as little as £3, and gift anything from woolly hats to teddies and colouring books for kids, or lipstick, gloves, a jumper or a journal for the mums. You caould also donate £25 to help a mother buy a Christmas dinner for her and her family.
ACTION FOR CHILDREN
Action For Children have created a Secret Santa initiative, with which you can pay £15 for toys and books, £20 for a trip to the pantomime or £25 for a Christmas present: these can all be purchased as one-off or monthly donations.
The BookTrust are looking to create £10 book parcels for children this Christmas. These are then given out to vulnerable families at food banks or delivered to children in foster care. The charity has chosen six child-friendly hardbacks to be gifted.
Instore, you can buy packs of groceries to donate to a local food bank, or again drop off some toys at a Toy Donation Station in their stores. These donations go to local charities and causes.
LIDL TOY BANK
You can head to your nearest Lidl supermarket to drop off toys courtesy of Lidl Bear’s Toy Bank, boxes for which are usually found near the checkout: you buy toys instore and just pop then in the box, or you can even bring in your donations from home. Toys, arts and crafts, books, games and puzzles that are dropped off will all be delivered to local children.
For children living in refuge you can buy toys via KidsOut’s Giving Tree shop. They have action figures for £12; craft kits, Disney dolls and LEGO Duplo sets for £15; baby dolls for £20. £10 buys a football or toys for a baby. They also have branded toys and games like Monopoly.
Planet Radio, in partnership with B&M, is running a 2022 Mission Christmas Appeal where you can drop off new and unwrapped gifts at various drop-off points including B&M stores. You can also buy gifts online. Here are a selection of countrywide appeals for christmas support.
You may have a local community centre that you can drop in to, call or email to find out if they are holding any toy drives or other campaigns to get involved with.
Regional Appeals for Christmas support
Also, although not a charity, don’t forget the YoungPlanet App, which enables parents to access anything they may need for free. Click here to know more.