Christmas is a time of festive spirit and goodwill, enjoying quality time with your friends or family and being thankful for what you have. However, not everybody is as fortunate and, if you’re in a position to give back, it’s nice to do so (and not just during the holiday season).
So how can you help this Christmas?
This Christmas, ALONE has partnered with An Post for its Do One Thing campaign, which encourages members of the public to send a personalised card to older people experiencing loneliness.
The cards cost €5 to buy (including postage), with €3.20 from each card going to ALONE, which provides friendship, support, social events and housing to older people. Special packs of 100 or 500 cards are also available for companies to buy.
“We are asking people to do one thing this Christmas – send a lovely Christmas card to an older person! For just €5 you can go online, order a card and write a nice message to an older person linked in with ALONE. An Post will then print and post the card. Every card sent will raise money for ALONE, as well as making a huge difference to that older person’s Christmas,” Baz Ashmawy said at the campaign’s launch.
A number of homeless people have lost their lives in 2017, particularly as temperatures have dropped. According to Focus Ireland, almost 7,000 people are homeless in Ireland today – one in three is a child.
So how can you help? Consider donating clothes and toiletries to charity organisations including Focus Ireland or Merchants Quay Ireland, or volunteer with the likes of Peter McVerry Trust, Inner City Helping Homeless or Depaul.
Homeless charities are also asked that people donate their water refund from Irish Water to help run their services. According to RTÉ, some €173 million will be repaid to Irish Water customers in the coming weeks – those who have the means to do so are asked to help a good cause. For more see refundproject.ie.
The gift of music
Dublin Digital Radio show the Co-Present has joined forces with Pieta House and a range of Irish musicians for A Co-Present Christmas, a Christmas charity album featuring the likes of Villages, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack O’Rourke and much more. The album is available on Bandcamp and a number of record stores for €10, while copies will be sold at the live performance on Saturday December 9th at Drop Dead Twice, Francis Street, Dublin 8.
The perfect prints
Are you or a loved one a fan of The Irish Times‘ photography? Images from The Irish Times are being sold for €100 (collected) or €120 (delivered) apiece this Christmas, mounted and framed, with all proceeds going to charities Women’s Aid and Féileacáin. Orders can be placed at [email protected]
North Pole post
Santa’s letter always go down a treat with his believers – for €10 you can get a personalised letter from the big man himself and make a donation to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC). Win-win!
The above options barely crack the surface – there are plenty of worthy causes out there that would benefit from your help this Christmas and in 2018, on a wide range of topics from working with children and rescuing animals to women’s shelters and working with the elderly. Check out the organisations doing great work in your local community or on a national level (you can check if they’re registered on charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie) to see how you can help.