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Drop a gift under Social Bite’s Christmas trees to help homeless people this winter

Social Bite is aiming to provide 300,000 meals and essential items to people experiencing homelessness this Christmas with the Festival of Kindness.

Social Bite

Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn at the launch of the 2021 Festival of Kindness. Image: Social Bite

People can leave a gift under the Christmas tree for a person experiencing homelessness this year.

Charity Social Bite’s Festival of Kindnessis aiming to distribute 300,000 meals and essential items to people without a stable home in the festive season, powered by donations left under trees in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, and London.

“For homeless people and families, the pandemic has made their situation particularly desperate,” said Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn.

“Thousands of people all over the UK will spend Christmas on the streets – cold, hungry and lonely, without a family to go to.

“Thousands of children will find themselves in temporary emergency accommodation or without food on the table over the festive period.

Social Bite
Social Bite’s Festival of Kindness has broadened out to five cities for 2021 including London. Image: Social Bite

“That’s why we are building on the success of last year’s campaign to expand our reach even further, going from two to five locations and taking the Festival of Kindness to London for the very first time.”

Social Bite is asking people to buy one extra gift from its wish list of essentials, including a warm pair of gloves or socks, a hot water bottle or toys, and drop it under the 30-feet tall trees.

Trees will return in Edinburgh’s St Andrews Square and on Glasgow’s Vinicombe Street as well as debuting in Dundee’s City Square, Aberdeen’s St Nicholas Street and outside London’s Charing Cross Station.

The Trees of Kindness will be standing until December 23 to allow Social Bite’s team to distribute the last-minute gifts in time for Christmas.

Financial donations can also be made online for Social Bite to distribute meals, gifts or cover the costs of accommodation for people who need it this Christmas. Vital places to stay are delivered in partnership with Bethany Christian Trust in Edinburgh, Glasgow City Mission in Glasgow, We Are With You in Dundee, Somebody Cares in Aberdeen, and Glass Door in London.

“Our festival of kindness campaign aims to spread some festive cheer. In a world where you can be anything, we’re urging people to be kind and buy or donate a little extra to help those who need it most – even the smallest of gifts will make a huge difference,” added Littlejohn.

Social Bite is no stranger to large-scale Christmas events to tackle homelessness in Scotland. 

Last year’s Festival of Kindness distributed almost 40,000 Christmas presents and more than 5,000 Christmas meals in Edinburgh and Glasgow alongside £60,000 of support for people in temporary accommodation and £500,000 to support other charities.

The charity hosted Sleep Out events in Scotland in 2018 as well as a star-studded follow-up led by Helen Mirren and Will Smith in Edinburgh, London and New York in 2019.

The Big Issue’s charitable arm, The Big Issue Foundation, is one of the causes that is set to benefit from the Festival of Kindness with vendors in Birmingham set to receive gifts this week. Meanwhile, the Foundation is also set to receive donations from Social Bite’s partnership with Just Eat.

Find out more about the Festival of Kindness or donate here.

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