“Charity and love are the same - with charity you give love, so don't just give money but reach out your hand instead.” Mother Teresa
Season of Goodwill and Glad Tidings to all!
We reached out to parent groups asking what charities are important to Londoners this Christmas. This is the list. Thank you Alice, Marina, Jemina, Anoushka, Orla, Sam, AnneSo, Corinna, Jemima, Sophie, Laura, Lorraine, and more amazing mums who helped us to gather this list of charities they donate to. Please feel free to add more by sending us an email here.
It's a long list of charities, mostly covering north & west London, but also national ones. With 12,500 homeless in the capital there are a lot of hungry people that could do with your charity.
And yes, Mother Theresa was right. You don't have to just donate money, you can get involved. Keep reading!
WHAT: Brent’s most disadvantaged neighbourhood is blessed with this 5-year-old charity that offers food, supplies and advice to the community.
HOW TO HELP: Kinfo kids are doing the Giving Advent Calendar. Join in! Items are cheap (or already in the cupboard); boxes can be delivered at the end of December, so you’ve plenty of time. Register to see the fun, festive list that kids tick off. The food bank runs on Weds & Sun lunchtimes and relies on donations. Note, drivers are needed for the centre’s Christmas Day 3-meal service – apply here.
WHAT: Since 1973, the charity has offered families support, friendship, and emotional and practical help.
HOW TO HELP: Home visit volunteers must have parenting experience and be able to commit to 8-weeks training. At Home-Start Barnet, the next one starts Jan 29th, email here. Home-start Ealing is holding a carol concert this Saturday evening. Finally, we think these make great stocking fillers!
WHAT: Vans collect food that would otherwise be thrown away and deliver it to 200 charities, who create 3 million restaurant-quality
HOW TO HELP: Read this, wow! And volunteer at possibly the most stylish soup kitchen in the world, at Earl’s Court. (We doff our hats to the Michelin-starred Italian chef, Massimo Bottura). Apply here.
WHAT: The Centre for Peaceful Solutions, led by married couple David Ellis and child refugee Maria Arpa, is a social change charity with over 20 years’ experience of resolving family, workplace, commercial, civil and community disputes, supported by professional mediators.
HOW TO HELP: Visit one of their charity shops in Kensal Rise or Willesden to support the cause for those last minute presents.
WHAT: The first known charity shop on record was a 19th century Salvation Army second hand clothes one that clothed East London's poor. During World War Two, the British Red Cross and other charities opened up shop.
HOW TO HELP: You don’t have to be a fellow Christian or a church goer to realise the benefits that donating toys to deserving kids can bring. Find your nearest participating church here or check out how else to help here.
WHAT: The TOY Project recycles unwanted new and used toys and gives them to children who need them.Their N1 shop sells everything from 50p toy cars to £490 signed One Direction dolls!
HOW TO HELP: Donate a toy to their Archway Christmas Appeal tomorrow (Saturday) or ASAP and you’ll cheer up the Grenfell Tower children, who get a big Christmas party and much-needed presents. The charity would also be happy to hear from volunteers interested in fundraising, shop work and leading workshops.
WHAT: Last year, the mothership of homeless charities helped 11k out of homelessness. It can happen to anyone, you know. Let's donate while we count our blessings.
HOW TO HELP: £28.18 will pay for a homeless person to eat 3 hot meals, get a shower and clean clothes. Various centres also needs Night Owl night shift volunteers to work through the night, more info here.
WHAT: Help Refugees started as a hashtag in 2015 when a group of friends asked for donations to take down to Calais, to provide vital aid to people fleeing war, persecution and poverty. Within a week, they had raised £56,000. They have since helped over 722,500 people, in 80 projects across Europe and the Middle East.
HOW TO HELP: There are various ways to help, here.
WHAT: A clothes bank, with toys and equipment too, for very young children, managed across three venues: Camden, Southwark and Wandsworth.
WHAT: Camden based advice and relief assistance for families awaiting a permanent housing solution.
HOW TO HELP: By fundraising, or donate here. Note, the charity is closed for Christmas and reopens in the new year, when they will again welcome gifts, clothing and food.
We hope you've been celebrating with our
Perfect Christmas Playlist.
"To be honest, don't waste your time even trying to pull out a decent playlist for your family for Christmas. Just get the one from Kinfo. You'll have every cool songs you'd need this year to celebrate in style."
Anna P., West London, mum of 3.