For many, Christmas isn’t a happy time. Gifts aren’t given, memories aren’t made, and with the on-going pandemic still raging across the globe, it’s going to be even harder for many to celebrate. There are ways each and every one of us can do our bit to help spread the joy through donation banks, gifting presents and volunteering over the festive season.

If you’re wondering which charity to donate to or how you can do your bit, we’ve rounded up a few charity gifting ideas you can take part in.

Oxfam Unwrapped 

Oxfam is renowned for its life changing work helping to fight global poverty. With global hunger on the rise, gift a family something that will really help make a difference. Choose from their selection of e-cards and truly make someone in needs day, from providing safe drinking water to a family of four to supporting equality for women around the world, to even gifting a loved one a pile of manure to help a community in poverty grow more food to eat and sell, with effecting, eco-friendly composting. 

Kids Out

Christmas isn’t a magical time for everybody; some children won’t receive gifts from Santa on Christmas Day. Kids Out, the charity that gives disadvantaged children positive experiences to support them becoming future members of our society and workforce, are determined to change that, by providing a gift and delivering it to a child in refuge. Help Kids Out do this by donating via their Giving Tree. They’ve created an online shop where you can choose and donate a present to a child in need, from book tokens to footballs, stationary sets to dolls.

Illustration: Ashling Lindsay

BookTrust 

BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, offering support, resources and books to 3.9million children across the UK every year. This year they’re asking for £10 donations from the public so that they can send a book gift to a vulnerable child to add a sparkle to their Christmas morning. Or, gift £50 and send five book parcels. More and more families have struggled this year as a direct result of the pandemic so this small token could really make all the difference to a child’s Christmas.

Crisis 

Crisis is a UK charity helping to tackle and fight against homelessness. With homeless on the rise, this Christmas the charity is asking for donations of £29.06 to help give someone a Crisis Christmas. Your small donation could help buy essential food, a place to stay over Christmas, year-round support and training, and friendship and support from volunteer befrienders.

Secret Santa with Action for Children 

The dreaded work Secret Santa’s have really taken the fun out of them for most, but for some it can mean the whole world to. Action for Children is asking the public to take action and become a Secret Santa for a vulnerable child in need. 

Action for Children’s research shows and website states that, “more than four million children in the UK were locked in poverty. That’s the equivalent of nine children in every school class of 30.” That figure is likely to have changed dramatically since the pandemic hit, so this Christmas why not help children and young people have a hot meal, present or safe place to sleep by donating the Action for Children’s Secret Santa campaign.

 

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Compassion UK

Due to the on-going pandemic, Christmas will be celebrated a little differently for many, but there are ways you can help do your bit for others. Compassion UK is running a Christmas campaign aimed at spreading a little joy through sponsoring a child, and gifting them a care package.

Send a greeting to your sponsored child or give a gift to help bring Christmas to those children living in poverty.

ActionAid

ActionAid, the charity that works with women and girls living in poverty, is running a Christmas campaign centred around education. Around the world 129 million girls are out of school and the on-going pandemic hasn’t helped the situation either. Small donations from just £3 a month are encouraged.

£3 a month will provide a girl with a dignity kit, packed with sanitary products. £7 a month packages will provide girls a school bag, books and stationary, while £10 a month could help pay for a month’s tuition at a catch-up centre.

Salvation Army

Be a star this Christmas and help fundraise with the Salvation Army. You can order your free pack that’s packed with loads of really fun and great ways you can help spread some joy over the festive season, including carolling with The Salvation Army to setting up a JustGiving page.

For those wanting to help gift a present to a child who would otherwise not receive one on Christmas Day should look to the Salvation Army Present Appeal. This December, many of the Salvation Army churches and centres across the UK are accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children. These gifts will then be wrapped and distributed to a child in need. Check online to see if your local church or centre is accepting gifts right now. 

Age UK

Christmas can be an incredibly lonely time for many. It’s estimated that more than 850,000 older people could be spending Christmas alone this year, but Age UK are determined to help as many as possible but they need the public’s support. 

From volunteering to telephone friendship support, to simply donating, your support could help make someone’s Christmas special. This one isn’t so much a gift, but a way to help support our elder generation during this trying year. 

RSPCA Christmas Rescue 

RSPCA is asking for the public’s support this Christmas by pleading money for animals who have been mistreated. For every £1 pleaded, over 80% goes straight to animal welfare, while 18p goes to raising the next pound and 1p spent on governance. There are options for donating once or to give monthly, from as little as £6 per month.