Five ways to make a difference this Christmas

The Penguin statues in Dundee dressed in Christmas jumpers as part of Macmillan's  Text Santa Christmas appeal.

The Penguin statues in Dundee dressed in Christmas jumpers as part of Macmillan's Text Santa Christmas appeal.

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Christmas might be the most chaotic time of year but there’s still time to make a difference to someone elses life.

We take a look at just a few ways you can make a difference this year:

Social Bite. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Social Bite. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Buy a homeless person Christmas dinner or help the refugees

Events company, Itison has teamed up with Social Bite for the second year running to ask the public to spend £5 so a homeless person gets a hot meal and somewhere to go on the big day.

Itison are also asking for £5 donations to provide Europe’s refugees with a pack of food and winter essentials from outdoor outfitters, Trespass. The donations will be delivered on Boxing Day to the men, women and children in need.

By buying a voucher from the site, you can buy the meal for a homeless from person in one of the Social Bite cafes in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen.

The Desperate Dan  statue in Dundee dressed in Christmas jumpers as part of Macmillan's  Text Santa Christmas appeal.

The Desperate Dan statue in Dundee dressed in Christmas jumpers as part of Macmillan's Text Santa Christmas appeal.

Last year, there was 54,000 homeless in Scotland with households in temporary accommodation remains in the range of 10-11,000. Last year Scots bought over 36,000 meals for the homeless, this year Social Bite are looking to smash this figure and help refugees in Europe.

READ MORE: George Clooney launches Scots homeless fund

Add to the Giving Tree

Livingston Designer Outlet has teamed up with children’s charity, Barnardo’s to create the giving tree. The tree is decorated with tags featuring the name and age of a child, the public are then asked to buy a gift to correspond which will be wrapped and sent to one of Scotland’s vulnerable children.

The tree is located in the food quarter on the first floor of the Outlet.

Barnardo’s Scotland works with over 26,500 vulnerable children, young people and their families. Children in Scotland, including 100,000 that will be homeless, may not receive any gifts without the kind donations by members of the public.

Support Glasgow’s vulnerable women and teenagers

Glasgow’s branch of Women’s Aid are appealing for gift donations for women and teenagers in their refuge. Although gift donations for children are also extremely welcome, teenagers and women are often overlooked when it comes to gifts. The refuge suggest that little things like pyjamas, toiletries, make-up and clothes are welcome and also say that vouchers can be the perfect gift so the women can chose what they like.

Donations to Glasgow can be made to Glasgow Women’s Aid, 4th Floor, 30 Bell Street, Glasgow or McTear’s Auctioneers, 31 Meiklewood Road, Glasgow G51 4EU.

In only one day in September, 347 women and 331 children were living in a Women’s Refuge and 789 women and 348 children and young people were supported by a Women’s Aid service. They work they provide, especially at Christmas, is vital for the keeping women and children safe and well.

Buy a CD

Acoustic group The Dan Collins Band are kindly donating the proceeds from their Christmas single ‘Christmas Eve (In A Nuclear Winter)’ to Mind Scotland. The band also hosted a fundraiser to launch the single earlier this month to raise extra money for the charity.

The single is available to buy right now.

Mental health in Scots, and young Scots in particular, has been documented throughout the year. Supporting the work of mental health charities like Mind can help to eliminate stigma, provide support and advice and promote greater understanding of the issues.

Look out your best Christmas jumper

Christmas jumper day in aid of Text Santa will be taking place across the country on December 18th.

Sign up for Text Santa and get your hands on a Christmas jumper - the cringier the better. Statues around Scotland have also been donning a jumper to raise awareness. You can also get involved by sharing photos of the statues in jumpers on Twitter using the hashtags #xmasjumperday and #textsanta.

Text Santa is a country-wide appeal and supports the work done by Macmillan Cancer Support, Make A Wish foundation and Save The Children.

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