Christmas, for most of us, is a magical time of year. A time for celebrating, for feasting and for sharing good times with loved ones. And whatever stresses we face, once a year we choose to put all our woes aside, put on our smiles and fancy clothes, and embrace fun, family and frivolity.
But sadly for too many, this experience is far from reality, and certainly not a choice.
On 25th December this year, while many of us will be snuggling under a blanket with yet another turkey sandwich, most homeless people will have endured yet another daily struggle just to stay safe and escape the cold. This Christmas alone it is estimated that over 3,000 people will sleep rough in London.
Over the last year, we have been supporting two organisations who help those in need; the Single Homeless Project (SHP), a London-wide charity working to help vulnerable and socially excluded people, and The Trussell Trust, a network of food banks providing emergency food and support to people in crisis- where the team have actually been volunteering - giving over 70 hours of our time since July.
We have seen first hand, through both organisations, the amazing work they do and, sadly, the overwhelming sheer need for it.
You may remember last Christmas we “sacked Secret Santa”; raising an amazing £640 to give warm clothing, food and supplies to those in need.
This year, we’re bringing back Secret Santa - but better! Each member of the team is gifting a personalised present to an individual at one of SHPs hostels, guided by a tag with some basic details; for example “Mark, 22, loves cooking and listening to music”.
And we won’t stop there. We’re also hosting a foodbank drive in our office on Wenlock Road, to make as much difference as possible to those living in actual poverty in our neighbourhood.
Here’s how you can be part of the story…
🎁 Option 1:
Give a gift for a someone in the Single Homeless Projects’ care.
We all know what it’s like to open a gift at Christmas; a gift that someone has really put thought into. Sometimes it’s less about the gift itself but the knowing that the person cares about you. Imagine being able to gift this feeling to someone for the first time, or to someone who has long forgotten the memory of it.
🛒 Option 2:
Give food items for The Trussell Trust food bank.
A food bag gives a person or family an emergency three day supply of nutritionally balanced goods.
💰 Option 3:
If you’d prefer to donate, you can do so here, and we will use the money to buy items for the Trussell Trust Foodbank.
Together, with all the goodwill and kindness this time of year brings, and of course, a little help from our friends, we hope to bring Christmas to those who don’t have it.
Our #MiracleOnWenlockRoad pop-up donation centre will be open weekdays, between 9.30am to 6pm from 19 November until midday 17 December (except for 13th and 14th December), and is based at our home, The Lab, 18 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7TA.
“We invite you to ask yourself this one simple question: Do you believe?”
CF Cole, A Miracle on 34th St.