Whilst in the midst of festive activities, Christmas shopping and just generally going about everyday life, people often forget about others who are unable to celebrate Christmas or have no families to share it with. Those such as the elderly and the homeless find this time of year extra difficult and always appreciate help wherever it comes from.
Here are some little things that you can do to make someone’s Christmas this year special.
- Donating money to charities – This is the easiest one of them all and the least time consuming if you’re short on time. Donating money to charities that support homeless people, can really benefit them at this time of year, it will give them warm shelter and food during this tough time of year. Just a few pounds of your money can really change and make someone’s Christmas.
2. Offer to do someone’s shopping – If you know any elderly neighbours or family, offer to do their shopping for them or take them shopping in your car. This will save them from braving the harsh winter weather, which can be difficult for older people. When the weather is especially icy or possibly snowy, the elderly avoid doing their walks to the shop because of the dangerous conditions. I promise it will make their day; it’s heart-warming for someone to show compassion and take time out of their day to help others.
3. Dog walking – Just like above, if you know an elderly person who has a dog, offer to walk it for them, it’s difficult for people who don’t have a skip in their step like they used to, to walk their dogs everyday. Dogs can be very energetic and require a lot of exercise. It will give you time to bond with a cute little pooch and get your body moving during these lazy winter months.
4. Charity collections – This is a simple and easy yet such an effective way to help others at this time of year. From food, to clothes and bedding and even toys, there is a charity collection for everything.
Tesco have a food collection every year that allows people to donate food that helps struggling individuals and families. Just pop into your local Tesco or if you’re just finishing your food shop, pop some tins of food which are unlikely to go off soon into the collection trolley which they normally have by the exit. Lots of local communities also hold clothes, toiletries and bedding collections. Someone in my village is currently collecting duvets, pillows and sleeping bags to give to homeless people to keep warm this Christmas. Churches also hold collections on certain days of the week where people can donate toys, toiletries such as toothbrushes and toothpaste and clothes to people who are in desperate need of things we take for granted every day. If you’ve got a young family member who you know will be receiving new toys for Christmas and you know they have toys which they haven’t played with for a while, donate them to a collection, I can assure you a child in need will be over the moon and forever grateful for receiving this around this festive time.
5. Volunteering – If you’ve got some free time on your hands, volunteering is a great way to support your community. The Salvation Army look for volunteers every year to help disadvantaged people in communities, from just doing money collections outside shops to serving food in community centers on Christmas Day for homeless people and people in need. Not only will you be supporting your local community, but you will making new friends and it will look impressive on your CV. Many people also volunteer in nursing homes especially at this time of year, lots of elderly people get lonely and appreciate visitors to chat with them and just generally take time to spend time with them. Often old people do not have families to come and visit them which is such an upsetting thought. You don’t have to do extravagant things, if you’re just there for a few hours a week to make teas, coffees and just generally spend time with someone and keep them company.
6. Foreign Aid – It’s not just in this country where families are struggling, but people all over the world who fight for their life everyday and do not have the everyday luxuries like most of us. This is where Operation Christmas Child is such an amazing charity. It’s commonly known as the ‘Shoe Box Appeal’ and has helped over 124 million children throughout the years. It’s so simple, all you have to do is find a shoebox, label it with boy/girl with age as well, then fill it with anything you thing will be helpful for a child in a struggling country. You can fill it with toys, hygiene items such as toothbrushes and soap, school equipment like pencils, something as simple as some felt tips could make a child’s year somewhere else in the world. You can even put clothing items such as hats and gloves or food such as sweets as long as the sell by date is ok. I’ve done one of these boxes and I love the thought of a little boy or girl opening my box up and being totally thrilled.
Even little things such as saying hello or wishing someone a Merry Christmas in the street can make someone’s day, you are spreading joy and love. Visit all your family which you don’t often see, just take the time to love and cherish those dearest to you and show compassion to others during this special time of year.