6 Things You Can Do To Help Others This Christmas

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6 Things You Can Do to Help Others This Christmas

 

The festive season is upon us, and even though most of us are getting excited about gingerbread lattes and the John Lewis advert (Moz the Monster has my heart, I don’t care what you say), for some people Christmas really isn’t the most wonderful time of the year. It can be a lonely, stressful, and sad time for many people all over the world, and with temperatures dropping it can be the hardest time for the many homeless people here in the UK. Here are a few ways you can reach out to others in true Christmas spirit:

 

  1. Donate to a Foodbank

Foodbanks around Scotland are (sadly) busy at the best of times, but with the stress of Christmas these can become even busier at this time of year. There are foodbanks in most towns, and they are always grateful for any donation big or small. Remember to take along food that has a long shelf life, like tinned food, or pasta. Also try to think about food that doesn’t require many other ingredients in order to make a meal, and food that isn’t hard to prepare. Toiletries, nappies, and feminine hygiene products are also appreciated so drop these off too, along with any other Christmas goodies, like a selection box. If you have some extra time you could volunteer at the foodbank too – I have done this before and it is a really eye-opening experience and an effective way to give back to the community.

 

  1. Buy a Homeless Person a Meal/Hot Drink

Buying a homeless person a sandwich or a hot coffee is such an easy way to make a small difference to someone’s day. Grabbing two Starbucks instead of one when you are getting your daily fix is a small price to pay for the difference it will make to the day of someone who lives on the streets.

 

  1. Pay Someone a Visit

There are charities that allow you to do this “officially”, but taking half an hour out of your day to visit your elderly neighbour or even a relative or friend will do the trick. Christmas puts a lot of emphasis of spending time with others, which is great if you have family and friends to spend it with. It can be a really lonely time for those who have few friends and family. 17% of elderly people are in contact with family and friends less than once a week, meaning that if you visit someone you could be the only person they interact with that week.

  1. Visit Social Bite

Social Bite is an amazing business driven by cause rather than by profit, and puts all profits towards tackling social problems in Scotland and abroad. It is a chain of sandwich shops currently in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, and spending your lunch money here rather than Pret or Costa will go directly towards helping the homeless. When you visit the shop, as well as buying your own lunch, you can buy an extra hot drink or food item and they will “suspend” it, meaning a homeless person can come in and claim it later.

 

  1. Give Blood

Giving blood is a really important and valuable thing to do, and a great way to give to others this Christmas. You can find out where your closest blood drive is here: https://www.scotblood.co.uk/.  The best thing? It’s free – and you get a biscuit afterwards, obviously.

  1. Oxfam Christmas Gifts

Oxfam allows you to give people in third world countries Christmas gifts that they really need – for example, a warm jacket, or even livestock like chickens or a goat. Instead of eyeing up the latest Naked palette (you’ll survive), ask for an Oxfam gift instead to help someone who really needs it. You can see the selection of Oxfam gifts and how to buy one here https://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped?pscid=ps_ggl_Oxfam_Unwrapped_2017_Brand_Christmas&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIno7Iirq51wIVT7HtCh0iiwCIEAAYASAAEgK0cvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CNfWn426udcCFWml7Qodp28B5w.

 

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