With Christmas just around the corner, here are some ways you can get into the holiday spirit and give back to the community.
1. Give back and buy a gift at the same time!
Have any young children in your life? Why not buy them the poignant “How Will Santa Find Us” children’s book. The fictional story reflects the reality for many families in crisis who will find themselves homeless on Christmas. With all proceeds going to Focus Ireland, why give a copy for one of the little ones this Christmas.
2. Share the love, donate!
Receiving clothes for Christmas? No longer need your old jacket as you have been gifted a shiny new replacement? Don’t let it sit in your wardrobe to become food for moths, donate your old clothes to a charity shop of your choice. You’ll not only be giving back to the community but you’ll have a head start on your spring cleaning!
On Saturday, December 20, Pantibar are holding a charity drive for The Simon Community. There is a particular need for menswear and coats so if you have any you can donate, pop in next Saturday.
3. Buy charity Christmas cards!
Rather than hand over your hard-earned cash to giants like Hallmark, why not buy a box of charity Christmas cards this season to give to your loved ones. With a wide array of charity to choose from and so many different designs, bulk charity cards in boxes will save you money, cut down on your plastic consumption as well as ensuring the profit is going to a worthy cause and not just into the pockets of big corporations. There are some beautiful Christmas cards available at the Amnesty online shop and you have until Thursday, December 19 for delivery before Christmas Day.
4. Sponsor an animal
Animal lover? Why not sponsor a furry friend this Christmas! Why not buy gifts or cards from charities like Dogs Trust or Cats Aid to provide care for animals without a home. The ISPCA also have a dedicated Christmas store on their site where you can get a Christmas gift for your own four-legged family members.
5. Be a friend to those who need one
Christmas can be a lonely time of the year for many, particularly the elderly. Why not visit a neighbour for tea and a chat, small interactions can make all the difference to those without many close friends or family. Alternatively, if you don’t know anyone who falls into this category but want to help donate to or volunteer with Friends of the Elderly.
6. Give blood! (if you’re eligible)
If you’re running low on cash but want to help those in need, why not donate blood, if you’re eligible to do so. By donating blood you can literally save lives! It won’t cost you any money and only takes a few minutes. You can use the Give Blood website to find a clinic near you accepting donations.
7. Treat yourself and help others!
Eating out? Thanks to StreetSmart, you can add a €2 to your bill in selected restaurants which will be donated to a local charity to fight homelessness.
8. Make more environmentally conscious choices
With a climate crisis being declared, why not try to cut back on your carbon footprint this Christmas? Ditch the non-recyclable wrapping paper and use something like brown paper to cover gifts, pick one meat for dinner instead of two or three, or even carpool with friends and neighbours when going to events during the holiday season.
9. Become a GCN supporter
Supporting GCN from as little as €1.99 per month will help secure Ireland’s independent free LGBT+ community resource. Find all the ways you can support GCN here.
What will you do this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!
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