Tomorrow is 1 December and typically the first window on your advent calendar. What will be behind the door or inside the drawer: chocolate, nail varnish or wine? Or, in a break with tradition, have you reversed your advent calendar to give an item every day rather than take one?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Skinted Minted Mum was joining the UK Money Bloggers #FoodbankAdvent campaign this festive season to encourage donations to food banks. The idea is to get an empty box and put one item for your local food bank into it every day. You could do this for 24 days to mirror the advent calendar or even a whole month.
I actually started my own reverse calendar at the beginning of November and the picture shows the end result. There’s a few more items than 24 (actually 32, not all could get in the frame) but I figured I could get away with adding more for charity. I heaved it along to my local foodbank, which is operated by the Trussell Trust, who were hugely grateful for the goodies. [Top tip: park as close to the collection point as you can because, once full, your cardboard box will be really heavy.]
If you’d like to do the same, there’s still time. It would be useful for most foodbanks if you could get your donation there well before Christmas Eve when it will be too late to distribute it. So you might want to wait until January to take it along, when it will be just as welcome, or perhaps give two or more items a day to speed up the process! You can find your nearest food bank by searching online or asking the local council. Many churches also collect donations. Alternatively, check out the Trussell Trust website here to see if they have a food bank in your area.
Items required tend to be tinned or dried food as it has to all be long-life. Toiletries, nappies, feminine hygiene products and even pet food may also be needed – the food bank website will have a list of items they require. And while children may want to add mince pies or sweets, it’s actually the basics (plus any spare plastic bags to carry it away in) which are most useful.
Our combined efforts with other money bloggers got a lot of attention for the campaign from Twitter and Facebook, newspapers and TV/radio as lots of people really liked the idea. Check out the hashtag #FoodbankAdvent on social media or, better still, put a photo of your own one with the hashtag on the platform of your choice. Together we can ensure no-one goes hungry this Christmas.