Without question, Christmas is the purest celebration of human happiness on the planet — which makes it a difficult season for those who find themselves in unhappy situations. The sick, the homeless, and the elderly are just a few of the groups that can find themselves distant from the inviting glow of Christmas cheer. While the rest of us celebrate, they languish in isolation. This year, you can help bring the warmth of Christmas joy to those who may not otherwise receive it; here are a few ways you can do it…
1. Carrickmines Christmas Tree Farm
Why not get yourself a real Christmas tree this year and make a difference at the same time? This family-run farm donates all its profits to help support the Laura Lynn Hospice. Not only can you pick up an evergreen here, but they also offer hot chocolate and sweets to their customers to make an already pleasant experience even more memorable. If interested in getting your own tree from these guys you can find them here.
2. Inner City Helping Homelessness (ICHH) Shoebox Appeal
Shoebox appeals allow you to give practical and much appreciated gifts to those who really need them at Christmas; in this case, those who live on the streets of Dublin. The public are asked to label these boxes male or female and fill them with things like socks, underwear, hats, scarves, gloves, sweets, chocolate and toiletries. These parcels can be dropped off at the Inner City Helping Homelessness office at 72 Amiens St, Dublin 1, Monday to Friday 10am-10pm. You can find more info here.
3. Pint Aid
Before you buy that last pint at this year’s Christmas party, ask yourself this: do you really need it and couldn’t that money be better spent elsewhere? Pint Aid is a rewards-based fundraising app that’s all about donating the price of a pint to its charity partners. They’re working with multiple Irish charities at the moment that you can choose to donate to, including Ability Ireland, CARI, ICHH and Victory 4 Vincent. It’s a simple gesture that won’t break the bank, you can download the app for yourself.
4. Temple Street Children’s Hospital
Every year this children’s hospital asks the public to donate toys for sick kids to make their holidays a little bit brighter. You’ll find on their website, Temple Street have a complete guide to what gifts to buy for different age groups — sensory toys for toddlers, Thomas The Tank Engine for three-year-olds, headphones for teenagers, etc — so picking out presents couldn’t be easier. Find more info on this amazing charity here.
5. Steeple Sessions
The Steeple Sessions are a series of candlelit concerts taking place at the Unitarian Church on St Stephen’s Green and at Christchurch Cathedral from December 18-22. The final two days of the Steeple Sessions will be fundraisers for Focus Ireland, where the High Hopes Choir and Dublin Ukulele Collective will perform covers of popular songs and Christmas music in the grand surroundings of Christchurch Cathedral. Interested in attending? You can find more info here.
6. Dog’s Trust
This organisation works to rehome dogs in need and you can help them continue doing their good work by buying a gift from their shop. They’ve a range of different presents to choose from, like dog-themed clothing and mugs for men, women and kids, as well as your own dog. You can also sponsor a specific dog and keep an eye on how they recover over the coming year thanks to your support. Check out their gift options via their website.
7. St Vincent de Paul
While you may anticipate a Christmas of bountiful delights, there are many families struggling to make the festive season special for those dear to them — but you can make it easier for them. By visiting the St Vincent de Paul website, you can pick from a selection of virtual gifts to send to those in need, with options including books, bikes, dolls, Christmas trees and whole Christmas dinners. If you would like to make a donation you can do so here.
Perhaps the most vulnerable in our community at this time of year are the elderly, so please don’t forget them. You can help comfort an older person this December by sending them a Christmas card from ALONE, or get your company involved to send a batch of 100 or more, with a warm Christmas greeting written inside and the proceeds going towards helping the organisation continue its good work. And if you have an elderly neighbour or family member who lives without companionship, pay them a visit this festive season to let them know that they are not alone. If you’re interested in getting involved in this great cause you can find out more info here.
9. Dublin Simon Community
Dublin Simon Community run many events and have on-going volunteering options throughout the year. But they hold a few Christmassy events around this time of year in particular which you can get involved in.
Any good at singing? Why not join in on their ‘Sing for Simon’ gathering. Either arrange your own carol singing group for your local area or you can join in on theirs! They also like to encourage people to organise their own Christmas fundraising events where you will be fully supported and supplied with Santa hats, buckets, t-shirts and selfie frames. To find out more you can visit their website.
The good fellows at Wishbone in Dublin are raising money for the homeless this coming Monday 18th. All you have to do is show up, eat their delicious food and wash down a few festive drinks (if you fancy) and all of the proceeds will be donated to charity. We really like this idea, go try their chicken wings if you haven’t already. For more info you can get in touch with them via their Facebook.