Why not give at the most wonderful time of the year? There are many ways you can help many local vulnerable and unwell people enjoy themselves this Christmas.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but for many people, this isn’t possible.
There are many individuals and families that won’t be celebrating Christmas in the traditional way due to homelessness, illness and low income.
There are things you can do to help make some of these people’s Christmas’ that bit more special, and some at just a small cost.
Not only will this make you and the people you help feel great, but it is a great way to make friends and learn valuable skills!
Christmas at Great Ormond Street Hospital
There are many children too ill to spend Christmas at home this year and will be spending the season in hospital.
You can donate to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), send toys and gifts or you can send a message through the website in a child’s family stocking.
On their website, each poorly child and their family have their own stockings in which you can leave a kind message with your name that will be shared with the children.
Giving this Christmas could be as simple as putting a smile on a child’s face.
Donate or leave a message here.
Volunteer at YMCA
You don’t need to have lots of extra cash to be able to give – you can volunteer.
YMCA centres are located at St Paul’s Group in Surbiton, Kingston, Hampton and Wimbledon, and YMCA is the biggest and oldest youth charity in the world.
They run annual Christmas lunches and provide resources and accommodation for vulnerable, hungry and homeless people.
These lunches are staffed completely by volunteers and can be a great way to meet new people and spend Christmas helping those in need.
Sign up to volunteer here.
Momentum Children’s Charity
Momentum is a local charity that supports children, suffering cancer or another life-challenging condition, and their families, during their ‘unimaginable strain’, according to their website.
They support families all over South West London, Surrey and West Sussex.
Donations can be as small as £10.
Momentum’s website states that “£10 would buy a present for a child with cancer or a life-challenging condition. £50 could give a Christmas-themed music therapy for a child in their own home. £100 pays for [our] Festive Fairy to visit children in hospital. £350 allows a family a Christmas break in our New Forest holiday home. And that £1000 could provide a Christmas event for children, siblings and parents.”
If you are attending any Christmas events or work do’s, why not make your own little fundraiser for the charity and start a collection of donations? This could be a great way to collect enough money to change a child and their family’s Christmas.
Donate to Growbaby
Have any young ones yourself, or younger siblings and family members, who have grown out of clothes? I’m sure we all have a child in the family with mountains of toys they might not use or no longer need – so instead of throwing them out, why not donate them?
Growbaby is a charity in Kingston that accept donations of children’s clothing and toys for those aged 0-5.
The website says they aim to provide “good quality, new and second-hand baby clothes…completely free of charge, to anyone who needs it, regardless of their income, background or faith.”
Based on Surbiton Road in Kingston, last Christmas the charity collected over 1,800 Christmas presents for local children.
Donations can be new or second-hand things, providing they are in good condition.
If you feel like giving this Christmas, please try and donate new, and second-hand items, money, no matter the amount, or volunteer to make someone’s day less lonely and cold.
To any students that are staying in Kingston over the Christmas break, volunteering could be the perfect way to spend your time away from your studies and help you gain valuable skills and experience.