If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that five days ago I launched my very first campaign to support a charity very close to my heart.
16 years ago I was living in a refuge after domestic violence and I arrived with my 6 month old daughter.
After nearly 8 months of living in their refuge supported by the amazing team they continued to support me emotionally and mentally when we left the refuge and started life again in a new house in a new area.
It was because of those generous donations from other people who saw me through those first few months.
The refuges donations helped with food, clothing and items I needed for my baby. Since it took months to sort my money the kindness of others is something that has stuck in my mind for the last 16 years.
This year seems quite apt personally for me to actually do something about supporting the refuge that supported me. In the past I have donated some items to a local refuge but this to me made it more personal to support the women and children in the refuge that I myself lived in and shared my daughters first christmas in 16 years ago.
My reverse advent for Women’s Aid means I am donating items into boxes everyday to help those living away from their friends and family this Christmas in order to keep themselves and their children safe. It’s an immensely hard time when Christmas is all about family so I am hoping by donating some things they will know that people do care and hopefully it will make it a little easier.
So in the first five days I personally have donated:
Day 1 – Cupboard essentials, noodles and pastas – Ideal anytime of the year and especially great for new families that arrive with nothing and need food.
Day 2 – Second hand baby clothing – I know secondhand is not something you would think of donating but for some families arriving at the refuge they arrive with only the clothes on their backs so good quality clean clothing can be really helpful when they have to start again.
Day 3 – Christmas gifts – I have been saving vouchers this year and have used these to purchase a few gifts along the way.
Day 4 – Nappies – Sometimes it can take months to sort money so having some nappies in stock will help any arrival that needs some extra support till their money comes through.
Day 5 – Christmas gifts – I returned an item back to a store for something about 6 months ago and I finally got to use this returns voucher to help with a few gifts for the refuge.
The Biggest Thanks
Over the last 5 days there have been 2 companies I want to say thank you to too! Firstly is Natures Finest the UK’s number 1 potted fruit brand who I had the pleasure of working with on starting my own Christmas Traditions and with their help I made my very first Christmas pudding a few weeks back. When they heard of the plight of so many women and families this festive season they sent over some sharing sized fruit post to help elevate some purse strings!
The second thank you is to the folks over at LeapFrog who sent over one of the beautifully designed and fun interactive Read With Me Violet.
Violet is aimed at ages 2-5 and is packed with fun and interactive ways to help with reading, comprehension and letter recognition and she is bound to make someone Christmas this year.
Since funding for Women’s Aid refuges is set to change supporting this charity is even more imperative and if you would like to donate financially you can donate here.
If you would like to join me in supporting a refuge near you with food, clothing and, toys and gifts or any other items you have that may help with someone starting a new life in a new home in the form of a reverse advent you can find your local areas Women’s Aid Refuge on their website HERE
If money is tight this festive season I hear you and please don’t think you can’t help as you certainly can. Why not share this post so it might encourage others that can afford to offer other help. Or why not follow the hashtag I am using for social media #WomensAidReversAdvent and share a tweet, come and chat to me or even come and share your story.