#NotTooEarly | Volunteer this Christmas.

pls give

There are so many things about Winter that remind me how fortunate I am to have a job, home and loving family as well as all the extra luxuries we take for granted. These are also the things that remind me that I can always squeeze a little bit of extra love out for my fellow man.
I do a reasonable amount for charity already, but the “gifting” season really motivates me to do just one more thing. Or two. Or three.
Just more in general.
It’s not too early to start thinking about how you’ll give back this year – if you’re planning on giving back.

Around about October I like to start researching local Christmas projects to help the community over what is, for some, the most difficult time of year.
Manchester and the surrounding towns has a huge amount to offer, but also a huge amount of poverty and need. I’ve been looking into ways I can contribute to my community and any other worthy causes this year.
Here’s what I’ll be up to:

1. Shoebox Christmas.
There are a heap of charities that run shoebox gifting for less fortunate Children. Key 103 run a shoebox Christmas appeal every year, so as a bare minimum I’ll be making a contribution or two to that.

2. The Rucksack Project, Stockport. 
I asked on Twitter a while ago about local things to get involved with over Christmas, and Miss Pond pointed me in the direction of Stockport charity “The Wellspring“.
During winter they collect rucksacks filled with the basics to keep a homeless person warm, fed & feeling a little loved this winter. This is called The Rucksack Project and I think its wonderful, I’ll definitely be making a pack up in the coming weeks.

3. Gift Wrapping.
This isn’t a Manchester based thing, its something personal, but may be a good idea for others who work in offices.
From November 20th until December 23rd I’ll be offering a giftwrap service at work. My building has 500+ people, so I’m hoping it’ll go down well.
The idea is they make a donation of £1 per gift, of £2 for a large gift, I wrap it for them, and they put their feet up & have a hot chocolate.
The proceeds (if there are any) will be donated to Barnabus (Manchester Homeless charity).

4. Knit for Homeless

I recently learned how to Knit, and although my skills aren’t showstopping, I can throw together a scarf in an evening if you’re swift.
This cause helps Big Issue North – your unwanted woolies (or handmade goodies) will keep someone snug while they try to make a living this winter.
Read more about that here.
I’m sure they wouldn’t mind non-hand-knitted either, if you’re not a knitter but like the idea!

I’m not writing this to show off, or to feel special – I know tons of people do tons more for good causes than I do – but I’m doing it in the hope that it will remind you, or convince you, that there is enough time to do a little bit more.
Maybe its as simple as dropping an extra toy into the collection bank. Maybe its buying a few homeless people a warm drink.
Maybe its more.

Will you be doing anything extra this winter?



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