I love Christmas – I always have, and once my birthday at the end of November is passed, I start getting excited about the festivities! I love spend time with family and friends, lots of Christmassy food and I absolutely LOVE buying presents for other people (and getting some back is always nice!) [See how happy I am at Christmas time below!]
A number of years ago, when I moved out of my parents’ house, I decided that rather than start the annual writing of Christmas cards to send out to everyone I’d ever met, I’d just not bother starting a tradition that might last decades (and involve the felling of many trees). Instead, that £10 I would have spent on cards and stamps to send to everyone, I would give to charity each year.
I decide, about now, which charities I want to support, sometimes with the whole £10 or other years to split across a few different causes. In the past I have supported: the Motor Neurone Disease Association, in memory of my Nana; Parkinson’s UK, for my Grandad; Help the Aged, because I saw a billboard for them to support those alone at Christmas; and the Evelina London Children’s hospital, where my friend was working as a Paediatric nurse.
I know £10, £5, or even £1 is not a lot of money compared to what these charities must raise each year – but I know that even the smallest amount of money is useful. If lots and lots of people gave just a little bit each year, then that all starts to add up!
This year, I know that some of my ‘Christmas card fund’ will be going to Highly Sprung and our Crowdfunding campaign – despite it being the company that I work for! I have seen with my own eyes the impact that the projects Highly Sprung carries out each year has on the children and young people that we work with. That £5 donation could pay for a seat on a coach for one of the 500 One Giant Leap participants to go to Warwick Arts Centre and back, to see Tree – perhaps their first ever experience in a theatre!
I’d love to hear what charities you are supporting this year – I still need to decide where to send the rest of my Christmas Card money. If you want to support Highly Sprung and our One Giant Leap project, perhaps with a seat purchasing £5 donation, check out the Crowdfunding campaign to #InvestInSmiles