In our house we place a lot of emphasis on kindness and each Christmas we enforce this by doing something charitable. Last year we took part in Operation Christmas Child and spent an afternoon buying items for a couple of shoeboxes before taking them to a local church collection point. Earlier this year I had written a post about my experience of domestic abuse and how that experience influenced my life. So it seemed only fitting that our Christmas Charity Campaign this year would aim to help support people who have gone through domestic abuse.
I had seen that a fellow blogger ‘Pouting in Heels’ had already begun collecting gifts to deliver to refuges in her area. I absolutely loved this idea and set about doing the same. I took the boys to do a spot of shopping and bought a few gifts for children of varying ages and then sent out a number of emails to companies I have worked with over the year to see if they had any leftover stock hidden away in their PR cupboards that they would be willing to donate.
I was so overwhelmed with the amount of wonderful gifts that were sent to me from various different companies such as; Fisher Price, Ravensburger, Crabtree and Evelyn, The Gro Company, MGA Entertainment and University Games. I even had The Conscious Parent send me nappies and wipes so there was less of a worry about essentials over the holiday period.
Earlier in the year I interviewed children’s author Michelle Robinson, who sent me a signed copy of her book ‘Goodnight Digger’, which was added to the collection. I also asked a family friend and author, Phillipa Ashley if she could donate a copy of one her books as I was struggling to gather presents for the women in the refuge. She not only sent a copy of her latest book, but she also posted a tweet asking if any of her friends would be able to do the same. This lead to Aslan Byrne, UK Sales Director at Cornerstone Publishing, Penguin Random House sending me three boxes of both adult and children’s books.
As our friends became more aware of what we were doing, a number of them went out and bought presents to add to the collection as well. Within two weeks I had been sent nearly 150 gifts, which meant that there was enough for the women and children in not only one refuge, but multiple refuges across the North West of England.
Once we had received the final donations, Mr. C and I spent the next two days wrapping each of the presents and labelling them. We made sure each tag explained clearly what the gift was, whether it was a stocking filler or a bigger gift and the suggested age range. We then split the gifts up to match the age ranges each of the refuges had given us and delivered every present ourselves to make sure every gift was received before Christmas.
I am so incredibly thankful and humbled by the amount of donations we have received and wanted to say a very big thank you to everyone who took the time to send something. I know it will make a big difference to a number of families this Christmas.
Even though Christmas is nearly upon us, you can still get involved. Refuge are running a Christmas Appeal where you can donate money via their website.