Hi lovely internet people!
So, as some of you may know, we’ve been coming up with ideas and trying to organise a few events locally to give back this Christmas (just like elves, only our ears are normal).
Christmas is the perfect time to do something for someone else; it’s the season of pure indulgence and excessive consumerism, so why not try to balance that and really make a difference this year. There are lots of little ways you can be more charitable this Christmas, little thoughtful acts that could bring a smile to someone’s face, brighten up their day or even help to make their Christmas the most special yet…
I just wanted to put this post together for those of you who’re looking for simple ideas on how to get involved in doing something to help others during this festive period, locally where we are here in Spain and also, afar. What better way of showing our gratitude for what we have than giving back to those who are not as fortunate.
I’ve listed 5 super simple ways you can get involved, all with minimal price and effort:
1. Pre-Christmas clear out – Everyone loves to do a clear out pre-Christmas, out with the old, in with the new and all that. And what better way of de-cluttering than a de-junk with purpose. Whilst there’s tonnes of brilliant charities locally, I personally support Ángeles Malagueños de la Noche – a truly worthwhile non-profit organistion working with the homeless and vulnerable families in Malaga city. They hand out over 2000 meals every day, 365 days a year as well as clothes and necessary items to those in need. (Please check them out, they *really do* do an amazing job).
They accept all matter of donations, be it food, clothing, furniture, bedding, towels, blankets, children’s items, tents, toiletries – if it was once of use to you, it will be of use to someone else. You can drop items off any day from 8:30am – 1pm and 5pm-8pm, just follow the location details on their website, linked here, or alternatively we have arranged a Christmas drop-off on the 14th December in Benahavis, where you can bring any items you have and we will transport ourselves directly them to the centre. Event information here.
2. Christmas Shoebox Appeal – We’re all aware of it, you probably took part in it as a young’un and you may well have heard the criticism surrounding it. Whilst I myself am not religious and am aware they do include Christian-based literature in the boxes, I personally do still back the shoebox campaign. Despite the controversy, It IS a brilliant project and does help to spread love and joy in corners of the world that aren’t necessarily accessible to us to help in normal circumstances, albeit with the addition of evangelist literature. It’s easy to get involved no matter where you are in the world, but here’s a link here to our local collection page for the Costa del Sol with all the info. Remember box collection is from 1st-5th December!
3. Add a few extras on to your next shop – Now I don’t know about you but everyday we see the same homeless people local to where we live. I am very aware of the familiar faces I see every time I do a shop and have actually gotten to know them quite well. It breaks my heart but it’s so easy to help, even if it’s just a little. It really doesn’t take or cost much to put together a small bag of items for someone. Talk to them, give them five minutes out of your day; don’t be afraid to ask them what they need. If they have an animal, perhaps some pet food, also some bread, toothpaste, crisps, fruit, water, really basic stuff we take for granted. You won’t even notice the extra on your shopping bill and it will really make someone’s day. Trust me.
4. All those unwanted gifts – There’s no shame in it, I’m sure everyone can admit they’ve received a present that they really didn’t like or would never use. But before you rush to stick it on your local Facebook buy/sell group, consider if it could help someone else. Perhaps it’s a toiletries set that could go to a women’s help shelter? Or maybe toys that could go to children’s wards at your local hospital? Clothes that don’t fit/suit you that could help warm someone without a home this winter? Charity shops will always welcome unwanted gifts and if your local community has any charity raffles coming up, maybe that unwanted gift would make a great addition to the raffle prizes and help increase the entries, raising more money!
5. Give your time – If you have nothing to dontate, there are tonnes of places to get involved with and volunteer your time to over the Christmas period. Ángeles Malagueños de la Noche are always looking for people to help, whether it’s collecting food donations at the supermarket or working directly in their canteen handing out food and clothing, contact them and offer your time, they will be so grateful. There are many other local organistions you can get involved in too.
I really don’t think I need to write a long, emotive paragraph about what this’ll mean to those people on the receiving end of your help; we’ve all got some level of understanding of how much this could make someone’s Christmas, but just know that for a lot of these people, for one reason or another; your donations could be ALL they’ll get and whether it’s from near or afar you’ll also be delivering a bundle kindness and worth.
Please feel free to get in touch (my email is firstname.lastname@example.org) if there’s anything you’d like to ask or if you have anything to add and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.