Give a Christmas Gift, part 2.
Firstly, I just want to say we have been completely blown away by the reaction to our blog post yesterday about Claire’s brilliant idea, ‘Give a Christmas Gift’. Our Facebook post has already reached over 9000 people within 24 hours and the willingness of people to help and get involved is totally heartwarming.
As just one of the drop-off points, we are really looking forward to receiving the first bags, but I thought it could be useful for you to have a bit more information about the idea itself, the logistics of donating and what is suitable/unsuitable for the gift bags.
The gift bags are for elderly people who, for whatever reason, may find themselves alone at Christmas.
I have taken the following useful guide from the Give a Christmas Gift Facebook page. Please visit the page for more info, including details of other drop-off points, volunteer collectors in your area and regular updates on donations and recipients.
“Suggested gifts include:
Soap, shower gel, body lotion, or hand lotion.
Biscuits, chocolate, sweets, cordial, little pots of jam.
Slipper socks, thermal socks, gloves, fleece throw, hand warmers, thermos flask
A nice pen, notepad, writing set/notelets, stamps, calendar
A book, word search, crossword or su doku puzzle book
Nice tissue box
We can only accept new items. All edible gifts must be completely sealed and in date. Unfortunately, handmade edible items such as cakes etc. cannot be accepted.
Please pack your gift/gifts (unwrapped) in a small Christmas gift bag. By not wrapping items we can check they are safe and appropriate before passing them on.
We would really like children to be involved too. Ask them to make a Christmas card, ask them to write a message and sign it with their first name (only) and age. Please add photos to this page of their handmade cards and/or your gift bags for us to admire along the way. We would all love to see them.
On the external gift tag please mark your bag as female, male or unisex. (My feeling is that we are going to need more female than male bags) but you may wish to consider donating a unisex bag which can be given to either a male or female.
Please donate your bag by the 30th November to give us enough time to sort them and to work with charities such as the Reigate and Redhill Live at Home Scheme and Age Concern Merstham, Redhill and Reigate to find lovely homes for them. The gift bags will also be going to the elderly at East Surrey Hospital who are poorly over Christmas”
Finally, here’s a word from Claire Osborne, the lovely person who has come up with this thoughtful idea….
“Wow everyone, I am completely blown away by your support for our appeal. We aren’t a charity, I’m just a mum from Horley who saw lots of things going on for children, including shoe box campaigns, but nothing for the elderly. From the acorn of an idea the support has been amazing and we are working with two charities; Age Concern Merstham, Redhill and Reigate and the Reigate and Redhill ‘Live at Home’ scheme, and since yesterday, East Surrey Hospital, who came on board to accept gifts for the elderly who will be in hospital this Christmas (so we need lots of bags!) If you could donate a bag it would be so much appreciated.Thank you x”
Our shop, Gerrards in Reigate, is just one of the drop-off points, and we will be accepting bags from now until November 30th. Please call me, Nancy, on 01737 243330, if you need any more info, or you can email the original organiser, Claire Osborne at: