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How to donate toys and charity Christmas gifts to children

Children across the UK could go without food and presents this Christmas as poverty continues to soar. Here’s how to donate charity gifts

Christmas is a magical time for so many children – waiting for Santa to arrive, unwrapping presents, feasting on roast dinner. But it is also an expensive time of year, more than ever in the cost of living crisis, and many children will have to go without this Christmas. 

If you’ve ever considered giving a Christmas gift to a child who might otherwise not receive one, now is the time.

There are a number of ways to give presents to disadvantaged kids, from toy drives to cash donations and Christmas dinners. Read on to find out how you could give a child a reason to smile with charity Christmas gifts.

Buy a child a toy

The Salvation Army is teaming up with toy shop The Entertainer to give gifts to a record-breaking number of children this year.

For every toy donated by the public to the Big Toy Appeal, the retailer will match it to provide an extra toy for a disadvantaged family at Christmas.

The appeal launched in 2018 and has since ensured nearly 100,000 children had a toy or book to open at Christmas. Those behind the charity Christmas gifts campaign are confident that figure will be surpassed this year.

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The appeal closes on November 30 to ensure enough time to deliver the gifts. Find out more here.

Lidl has also announced the launch of a new, nationwide toy donation drive this Christmas. Customers can drop off new and unopened toys and games to the stores’ toy banks, to be gifted to children who need support in their local area.

Donations can be anything from a small stocking filler to a prized toy. Sought-after items include toys, games, books, puzzles, and arts and crafts, for a range of ages.

Toys will then be collected by local charities participating in Lidl’s Feed it Back scheme, coordinated by Neighbourly, alongside the food they pick up weekly. They will then be donated via local charities and community groups such as food banks and community centres.

Be a secret Santa for a child facing a difficult Christmas

Through Action for Children, you can select a gift for a child in need to brighten their festive season.

For £25 you can pay for a young person’s Christmas present, or £10 will pay for their food for a day. It makes sure UK kids are less likely to go hungry this winter as the cost of living crisis escalates. 

Alternatively, donate £5 for a child to get a healthy breakfast every day of the week, keep them warm with £40 worth of winter clothes, or buy a bed for a child with £125.

Support survivors of domestic abuse

Fleeing domestic abuse often means being left with little but the clothes on one’s back. It can be even more difficult around Christmas, especially with children.

Through Refuge, you can buy charity Christmas gifts for a child or mother which can provide some joy or comfort this festive season.

Just £10 could pay for a mobile phone top up for a woman to let her know her family is safe. If you put in £30, you could pay for a taxi for a woman to flee her abuser and be safely housed in one of the charity’s refuges. And £52 could cover the cost of a woman and her children to have a safe night’s stay in a refuge. 

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Give a Christmas dinner to a family

Feeding Families began helping families at Christmas by matching a family who needed help with one who could donate a Christmas dinner. In 2021, they delivered over 9,000 Christmas dinners across the whole of north east England. 

This year, the campaign is called A Matched Christmas Dinner. One family buys the food for you to cook a Christmas Day dinner and delivers it directly to your home.

There are six menus to choose from, to suit all dietary requirements. The charity matches two families and connects them, and the family who needs a Christmas dinner picks the menu that suits them. 

You then have the fun part! You can prepare the Christmas dinner with all the food and treats to make the Christmas special for the receiving family. If everything goes to plan, you will arrange a suitable date to receive your Christmas dinner, close to Christmas, and you can deliver it directly to your family.

Here you’ll find all the information about how to give and receive a Christmas dinner.

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Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Christmas. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Christmas.

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