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Help a charity over Christmas


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The festive season is a time for giving, and is also the period in the year when the plight of those most in need somehow becomes even more apparent.  If you are feeling inspired to do your bit and help in some way, then volunteering to help a charity over Christmas can be a brilliant way to contribute.

What is Volunteering?

In essence, volunteering is about giving freely of your time to do something useful for someone else.  The payback is a sense of personal satisfaction, and a warm fluffy feeling inside.  It has also been clinically proven that the act of volunteering causes the brain to release mood-boosting chemicals that can help to reduce your own personal stress levels too.  It’s a win:win activity!

Do I need any special skills or experience?

Nope, nothing at all.  Whatever you have to bring to the party will be put to good use by whichever charity you choose to help.  It is often time itself that is the most valuable commodity.  Anyone from age 16 and upwards can volunteer.

Which Charity to choose?charity work at christmas

You may have a specific cause that is close to your heart for personal reasons, or you may simply feel an affinity with the work of a particular charity.  Honestly, any charity you choose to help, whether at Christmas or any other time of the year, will be more than glad of your input.  If your time is limited it may be easier for you to work with an organisation that is locally based, as their activities may be more flexible.

How to get involved

Most charities have a website, and that can be a great place to start and make contact.  For the non-technically minded among you the Yellow Pages is still a good source of information, and most local charities will be listed there.  Alternatively, you can talk to someone who is already volunteering and ask how they got involved.  You could also search online for one of the national volunteer databases, where you can view any number of specific volunteer opportunities across a variety of charities.

Some things you could do

If it is the Christmas spirit that is stirring you, then there are certain festive activities you can help with.  Here are a few to whet your appetite for giving:

  • Charities involved with children often have gift-giving activities planned for Christmas.  The presents all need wrapping by someone!
  • Many temporary charity shelters are opened over the Christmas period for the homeless or the very poor.  In the first instance they often need help getting the site physically prepared, so welcome input from trades people.  Thereafter, they offer food that needs preparing, cooking and serving, and access to additional services such as hairdressing, and medical professionals.  Other help offered by these shelters can include internet access or arts and crafts activities, all of which require staff on hand to manage and help.  Having volunteers who are simply there and taking time to sit and chat with people visiting the shelter is also a key part of these initiatives.
  • The elderly can feel particularly lonely at Christmas, and help with schemes to befriend them, and to assist the infirm with shopping, for example, can be very welcome.  As a member of the Scouts when I was 17 I remember helping an old lady in a wheelchair do her Christmas shopping one snowy December afternoon – she was so appreciative, and actually a great laugh too.  It was an experience I will never forget.  And I’m sure whoever received the very loud reindeer jumper she purchased will find it hard to forget too!
  • Some organisations sort, pack and distribute food to the homeless and poor over Christmas.  The donated items need organising, and all hands are welcome.




About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, whatsapp plus,travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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