Give a little love this Christmas
Our Christmas Campaign 2020 is well underway and this year the need is greater than we ever imagined it would be. Through our work with our Hope Centre project, The Hideaway is planning to support over 100 local families this Christmas in a range of ways and we need your help. Will you give a little love this Christmas and support us in saving Christmas for struggling families?
After a 2020 that no one could have possibly imagined, Christmas feels like a time that we should all look forward to – with hope on the horizon with magic in the air and a possibility of a new year that can only be better than the previous one. Yet the reality is that for many people the very thought of Christmas triggers emotions of dread and a sickness deep in the stomach.
In 2019 we recognised that with 1/3 of residents in our community already living below the poverty line, Christmas was far from a happy time for so many. Putting out a plea for anyone who’s only option to survive Christmas was to get into debt to get in touch, within hours we were inundated with heart-breaking stories of families fighting to survive. Many were battling ill health whilst others were facing unemployment or even fleeing from unthinkable domestic situations. For many people, the best Christmas gift of all was simply to know that their electricity would be on and they wouldn’t be going to sleep hungry. We supported over 40 families with toys, food, vouchers and more. But that was 2019.
Throughout this year we have been supporting hundreds of local residents as they’ve faced one of the most difficult years of their lives. Many people who were getting by last year have been forced to join the list of people with no choice other than to ask for help. People have been hit with the additional costs of having children at home whilst losing significant parts of their income which in many cases was already far below the national living wage. Despite their best efforts, jobs have been lost, relationships have broken down, mental health has suffered immeasurably and the very thought of Christmas is simply too much to bear.
We would love to invite you to join us this Christmas in providing for these families. We hope to support 100 local families this Christmas with toys for children, a food treat hamper, gifts for the adults and food to ensure they have enough to eat over the Christmas break.
The donations won’t be made in isolation, but as part of ongoing support and genuine relationships. We’re working alongside families in a range of way and with a huge number of other organisations to make sure that people are not simply gifted handouts, but supported onto better mental wellbeing, onto appropriate courses or training, into employment and whatever else is needed.
What do we need?
Primarily we’re looking for financial support. We completely understand that people would rather buy a toy or send in some food donations and whilst these are gratefully received, what we invariably find is that not all families are catered for in the same way. We’re keen that all children received generous, good quality toys of a similar value. We’re also aware that children quite often ask for toys that look great on an advert but cost a fortune and won’t last beyond Christmas day. We believe that all children should ideally receive something to read, something creative, something to build with, something to help their imagination, a game to play with others and something to encourage outdoor play. By creating a database of the gender and ages of the children, we’re able to order appropriate toys from the right categories at wholesale prices. This ensures value for money, fairness and that all children receive good useful gifts that they will enjoy and will last.
This same principle applies to food parcels. We hope to provide a family treat hamper as well as general food parcel and this is much easier to do if the food we receive is fairly consistent. Buying in wholesale food not only ensures consistency, but gives us value for money as we can buy more for less.