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Christmas Donations - Where can you donate?

Christmas can be a very hard and lonely time for some individuals. With the cost of living still lurking, Christmas isn’t the ‘best time of the year for some’. However, a local pub in Stanground has taken this to light.

The Apple Cart pub in Stanground is a friendly, family orientated pub who have taken the less fortunate into consideration. A small Christmas tree has been put into the pub with small tags on. Each small tag contains an item that individuals can take and bring back a wrapped/unwrapped gift to then put back under the tree.

I had the opportunity to talk to the owner of the pub, Sarah, to ask her what made her think of this wonderful idea, she said “I really wanted to do something to give back to people, during christmas we get a lot of families, couples and work parties in and it just made me think about those who don’t have any friends and family to spend christmas with or just to enjoy this time of year.

“I wanted to give back this year and therefore I thought it would be a lovely idea to make it anonymous but also make sure it was something people needed/wanted.”

I also asked Sarah if her idea had been successful so far and she commented “Yes! We’ve had lots of people coming in to drop their gifts off under the tree. It’s been lovely to see how many people have been able to volunteer and give to those in need this christmas.”

Individuals have until the 17th December to give and all donations will then be collected and given to a charity in need.

Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough have also come up with a similar idea this Christmas, where you can take a labelled tag off the tree and leave your gifts underneath.

The Salvation Army runs a Christmas present appeal each year where you can donate toys, games and books to children who might not otherwise get a gift this christmas. They also accept any unwanted Christmas decorations that you might no longer want or would like to donate.

Charities also accept shoe box donations. Shoe box donations are where parents and children will get an empty shoe box and fill it with different items.These might include toys, teddies, small long lasting snacks and basic clothing items. These shoe boxes will travel to different places. A shoe box charity, called Samaritan's Purse said “They travel by plane, truck, or ship to more than 100 countries and territories where local churches distribute the boxes to children in need.” Things to avoid putting into a Christmas shoe box are any sharp items, items that run out of date quickly, any liquids as they may spill and destroy other items in the box, medications and alcohol.

The Rotary Shoebox scheme began in 1994, when Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 1280 started to collect shoeboxes that had been filled with different items for people in Romania. The Rotary say ”We will arrange for shoeboxes to be delivered to your school either by the local Rotary Club or direct from our warehouse. Invite parents/guardians to take a box home and fill it with gifts. Remember that we give shoeboxes to people of all ages so make sure that they fill in the details on the lid of our specially produced shoeboxes so we know who to give it to. Ask for a £3 donation with each box as a contribution towards the cost of transport. This you keep to offset the purchase cost of the box. Contact us (or the local Rotary Club) when all your boxes are ready for collection and we will take them away.”

Charities also accept donations in foodbanks. Food banks can be found in most supermarkets where individuals can place food donations into a basket and charities will do rounds to collect donations. Preferably charities find it helpful when you add in canned foods or easy foods such as pasta and biscuits - foods that don’t run out of date quickly and foods that can be easily transported. Different care items such as women’s period products, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

Local food banks in Peterborough can be found in Aldi and Tesco. If you would like to donate, the Aldi food bank can be found as you leave near the exit, so as you leave you can drop your items off or you could even pick up something small as you do at your weekly foodshop. In Tesco, their food bank can be found located opposite Superdrug in Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, just outside of Tesco’s supermarket. All donations would be appreciated no matter the cost or how little the item is.

This time of year isn’t always the easiest time for some people. It can be very stressful and overwhelming to those who are overworking. It is also a tough time for students who have multiple deadlines due at this time of the year. It can also be very stressful to the homeless who are struggling with the cold weather. Let’s be mindful this winter of others and spread joy this christmas!


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