Reform’s giving guide
How to give this Christmas
Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall? Splendid. Who needs tinsel, when you’ve got displays of underwear?
All of us at Reform hope your stocking is filled with lovely treats. But what we care about even more is that you have a giving Christmas. May we take the seasonal liberty of reminding you just how much better Christmas is when it includes giving some help to those people who are most hoping for it. How much warmer the candles glow and how much truer the carols sound when our giving includes people who really need our gifts and can’t give us anything back. We’ve asked six charities who are making a difference in the world to advise us how we can include them in our celebrations. You’ll find others in this issue too. Pick one and answer their call. Have a better Christmas.
Twin a garden
Send a cow
Twin your garden, or a friend’s, with Send a Cow and your donation of £60 could help a family living in rural Migori, Kenya, with three years’ training in sustainable organic farming. Starting with small kitchen gardens, families can grow enough to eat, set up small businesses, send their children to school and go after their dreams. In return you’ll receive a sustainable wooden plaque to show off in your garden, a vegetable growing guide from Charles Dowding, the no-dig expert, and some wildflower seeds to get you started on your Garden Together adventure! Plus, they will share the practical techniques families in rural Africa are using in their own gardens to fight hunger and the climate crisis.
To find out more, or to twin a garden, visit sendacow.org/reform-magazine or call 01225 874 222.
Fly in vaccinations
This Christmas, Mission Aviation Fellowship is trying to raise £50,000 for flights that will make a real and lasting difference to the lives of children – anything from medical evacuations and vaccinations to trauma counsellors, teachers, educational resources and more. By giving a gift, you can help MAF keep their planes in the air, overcoming geographical barriers and connecting the world’s most isolated children with the essentials of life.
What’s more, this year, thanks to a generous charitable trust, your gift will be doubled automatically, enabling us to have an impact on more young lives!
To find out more and donate, visit www.maf-uk.org/children or call 01303 852819.
Keep the phone lines open
Winter can be one of the toughest times of year for older people, with almost 1.5 million feeling more lonely at Christmas than any other time of year. Age UK’s support services, including its free national advice line, telephone friendship services and network of local charities, become invaluable lifelines for older people who have no one else to turn to. However, Age UK needs urgent funds so it can continue to be there for older people throughout the winter season and beyond.
To find out more and donate, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/appeal or call 0800 077 8751. Anyone who needs support can call 0800 169 6565.
Be a Secret Santa
Action for Children
For most of us the festive season is a happy time but there are children all over the UK who face a very different Christmas. A Christmas without food, warmth or love. Action for Children are doing everything they can to change this – and they need your help. With your support they can make sure children have the basics, like hot meals and proper winter clothes. And they could offer emergency support to keep homes warm and help families pay the bills.
Fight housing injustice
This has been a difficult year for many people, but this winter thousands are facing the prospect of being stuck in unsafe housing or losing their home altogether. By donating to Shelter you could help provide vital support to people like Sarah, a mum of two who was homeless for three years after being evicted. After months of living in cramped and run-down temporary accommodation, Shelter helped Sarah and her children to find a safe and stable home. With the public’s help, Shelter will do everything it can to fight against housing injustice.
To find out more and donate, visit england.shelter.org.uk/donate, or call 0300 330 1234.
Stand with mums
The climate crisis in South Sudan is polluting fragile water sources, killing crops and destroying homes. Combined with years of conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s forcing mums to make impossible choices for their children. Dirty water, or none at all? A morsel of food each, or a bigger portion for one? School fees, or materials to rebuild the family home? This Christmas, Christian Aid is standing with mums in South Sudan and around the world who are facing these tough decisions. Through your gifts, you could help families in South Sudan with more boreholes, seeds and farming tools and the chance to set up a small business.
To find out more and donate, visit caid.org.uk/Christmas, or call 020 7523 2046.
This article was published in the December 2021/January 2022 edition of Reform