How to help the homeless this Christmas
For centuries, Christmas has been a time for giving and helping those less fortunate than ourselves. This still rings true today, as according to the Charities Aid Foundation November and December are statistically the UK’s most charitable months.
One of the most prominent Christmas campaigns has been to help the homeless. With the winter season bringing colder temperatures and shorter days, charities and organisations encourage us all to embrace our inner generosity to help rough sleepers have somewhere warm to sleep and food to eat on Christmas Day.
If you’re looking for ways in which you can help the homeless this Christmas, why not consider one of the following?
Buy a hoodie
Don’t worry, this isn’t just another plug for consumerism. Unhoused.org’s buy one give one model donates an item for every one bought. The brains behind this endeavour have developed a self-cleaning clothing range that repels stains, odour and sweat, so this purchase could have a huge impact on someone in need.
Give a friend a Beam gift card
Beam helps the homeless to find stable employment by crowdfunding job training. The social enterprise’s gift cards allow your chosen recipient the chance to change someone else’s life. They can choose who they want to support and will receive regular updates on that person’s progress to a brighter future.
Buy a Christmas present
The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal collects donated presents until mid-December every year for children of vulnerable families. Millions of young people have benefitted from the annual campaign over the years, and the Salvation Army has a list of suggested gifts for a wide range of ages to help you get started.
Donate to get the homeless off the streets
Crisis asks supporters to donate a small sum that can make a huge difference. In recent years, less that £30 can give a rough sleeper essential food and a place to stay over Christmas. Centrepoint works to get young people off the streets, and £12 could provide them with a safe and warm place to sleep.
From food banks to homeless shelters, the gift of time could be the greatest. From companionship to friendship, to helping those in need access support, volunteering in your local community could make a big difference to help the homeless this Christmas.
Engage with them on the street
The Big Issue has an entire section on its website with great tips on how to help homeless people directly. A hot drink, blanket, or warm clothing - or even a friendly ‘hello’ - could make a big difference to someone sleeping rough.