Give a lit­tle back

Char­i­ta­ble acts at Christ­mas not only help peo­ple but make you ap­pre­ci­ate what you have

The Simple Things - - FRESH | DECEMBER THINGS -

Beth John­son has been in­volved with the char­ity Cry in the Dark (cryinthedark.org) for 13 years, and is about to make her sev­enth Christ­mas trip to Ro­ma­nia to dis­trib­ute 1,500 gift-filled shoe boxes col­lected over the past three months. “To me, this is what Christ­mas is all about,” says Beth. “We take 18 vol­un­teers and dis­trib­ute the boxes per­son­ally to the chil­dren. To be around peo­ple who see the value in the gifts they’re re­ceiv­ing is quite in­cred­i­ble.” Vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties for the trip to Ro­ma­nia in 2018 will be al­lo­cated in Jan­uary, and there are other ini­tia­tives through­out the year. It might be too late to send a Christ­mas box abroad this year but there’s plenty you can do here. The home­less char­ity Cri­sis (cri­sis.org. uk) re­lies on vol­un­teers to cook and serve meals, share skills or sim­ply to spend time with guests over the fes­tive pe­riod. FareShare is hav­ing its an­nual Christ­mas food col­lec­tion in Tesco stores from 30 Novem­ber to 2 De­cem­ber (fareshare.org.uk), and don’t forget to do­nate to your lo­cal food bank this month and in Jan­uary, when stocks run thin as peo­ple are feel­ing more fru­gal. Get the kids in­volved by mak­ing a re­verse Ad­vent cal­en­dar: ev­ery day start­ing on 1 De­cem­ber, put a nice food prod­uct in a box, then de­liver the ham­per of good­ies to your lo­cal food bank on Christ­mas Eve (visit trussell­trust.org to find your near­est).

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