It’s finally December and if you haven’t finished already (and if you subscribe to such things) your Christmas gift buying is probably underway. I know mine is, all gifts for my nieces and nephews wrapped and posted off and those for Oscar hidden strategically around the house. Seriously, who else struggles hiding presents? I’ve taken to even hiding some in plain sight, disguised as other, less exciting things.
Anyway, if you read my last post you’ll know I’ve had one more present to buy this year. You might remember how upset my autistic seven year old was when he realised not all children were as lucky as he is at Christmas time. And that he wanted to reach out, giving a gift and making a difference in the life of another child.
I initially struggled with how best to do this, but so many people who read the post were kind enough to contact me with organisations that might be able to help.
Initially I was thrilled that so many places seem to have this kind of giving covered. However the more I thought on the subject, the more my heart broke that the need should be so great to require so many organisations to be involved. It’s certainly a sobering thought in amongst the sparkle and shine of the Christmas season.
The suggestions given were very helpful and wide ranging. From local churches and radio stations to national membership organisations and charities. There seemed to be an option to speak to everyone.
After looking at all the options Oscar and I decided to donate to our local radio station’s long running Toy Appeal. Eagle Radio collects toys every year in various locations across our county and delivers them to a diverse list of local organisations, including Women’s Shelters, Family organisations and local authority departments working with families in crisis. It seemed like a good place to start.
All that was left to do was to chose a gift. Oscar mentioned Playdoh, which was a lovely idea but I suggested something with more longevity might be better. So we settled on Lego. Of course we did. 😉
Our closest drop off point was a local garage so all I had to do was pop down with my unwrapped present and deliver it. It was gratifying to see the box was so full already.
I’m so proud of my little guy. He doesn’t cope well when others receive gifts and he doesn’t, and it’s definitely something we’re consciously working on. So to give up a big box of Lego, let alone suggest doing it in the first place? Well my heart is very full.
So many people came forward when I asked for suggestions of where to donate. It was really kind of them. So I have decided to collate them below. I have looked into them as much as I can but as always if you chose to donate, I urge you to do your own research first.
- Local commercial radio stations often run parcel appeals. My local stations are Eagle Radio (Surrey) and Spirit Radio (West Sussex)
- Membership organisations such as The Rotary Club collect parcels to send primarily to Eastern Europe. Check with your local club
- Charities such as the Salvation Army run a shoebox type appeal
- Check with your local church as many of our local churches also collect presents to be distributed
- If you prefer to donate to a more secular charity Refuge run a ‘parcel’ campaign this times of year, allowing you to donate an amount to cover items for those escaping domestic violence
- Choose Love is a charity that allows you to buy specific items for Refugees, either arriving, sheltering or to help in their future in a new country.
- I mentioned this in my previous post, but Action for Children are running a Secret Santa campaign, including a printable certificate for whoever the gift is given in the name of
If you are interested in donating an actual physical gift be aware most places have a cut off date, so be sure to check these. For example Eagle Radio’s Toy Appeal cut of is 15th December.