For many people, Christmas isn’t about family gatherings, hearty meals and presents under the tree. It might simply be another day on the streets, in continued isolation from the community or a day without food.
That’s why we’re on the lookout for heartwarming stories of people giving those in need their time, food and gifts during the holiday season. Here are five examples we’ve found this week of the Christmas spirit in action.
A community cafe in Walsall will be opening their doors on Christmas Day to support ‘anyone who needs a meal at Christmas’. That may be homeless people, but it’s also for anyone who is alone on the day. They’ll also be handing out goodie bags with toiletries and treats.
‘There are a lot of homeless people in Walsall and I wanted to do something to help the community and give something back. Christmas is a time for giving, and a lot of people in the area think it’s a really good idea and some of the residents have even donated money to go towards the meal.’
– Mark Holowczak, owner of Bakers Sandwich Bar
Mr C’s Fish and Chip Shop in Newcastle is donating dozens of hot meals to the city’s homeless this month.
‘I wanted to give something back to the community who have helped us since we opened three years ago. When you’re walking in the city centre you see so many people lining the streets. Most people want to help but some don’t know the best way to do so.’
– Harj Chungh, Owner
A nursery in Brechin have asked children to bring in an item of food to donate to a local food bank on Christmas Eve. But they’ve been so inundated with donations that they’re having to make a visit every few days.
“As staff we are extremely proud of all of our children and their families for being so kind and generous. We really hope that we can make a difference to some of the families in our local community and also teach our children that it’s important to care for other people who are less fortunate than ourselves and how we can make a small difference and hopefully put a smile on their faces.”
– Alison Reid, Manager
Maggie’s Bar and Kitchen in Kilmarnock will be serving a cooked breakfast to those in need or who are alone on Christmas Day. The staff have volunteered their time to open on the day to help those less fortunate.
‘Whether it’s the elderly or the homeless, we believe that people shouldn’t be by themselves on Christmas Day. We’ll be offering everyone that comes through our doors a free buffet-style breakfast.’
– Kim Donaldson, Admin Manager
Together at Christmas, an organisation comprised of members from local churches around Bridgnorth, are hosting a free three-course meal for those people in need on Christmas Day. The meal is supported by donations from the local community.
‘The team aim to seek out the poor, lonely and disenfranchised in the Bridgnorth area and provide them with a fantastic Christmas Dinner in a loving family atmosphere. Together at Christmas is aimed at, but not limited to, singletons, couples and family units on their own, one parent families, the recently bereaved, people who find themselves isolated, perhaps by a conspiracy of circumstances and those having a sense or feeling of loneliness or perhaps not having the means to celebrate this special day.’
– Derek Bartlett, Manager
Will you be giving back to the community this Christmas? We’d love to hear what you and your family are doing. Tag us on social and let us know!