Love Christmas Campaign 2022
Building on the tremendous success in helping those in need in 2021
The Caritas office of the diocese would like to invite all our parishes and schools to take part in the Love Christmas 2022 Campaign. This campaign aims to provide some joy and happiness to those most in need at Christmas by reaching out and letting people know we are with them, and that they are not alone. This year especially, in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, we want to promote kindness and connection over anxiety and isolation, by reaching out to those that are struggling or alone this Christmas with a Bag of Kindness.
Love Christmas is a national initiative, growing through a network of thousands of churches and other local organisations, connecting people of all faiths and none.
Our diocesan 2021 campaign was extremely successful. We worked closely with Age UK Northants & Beds, Level Trust Luton, The Children’s Trust Northampton, Daisy Chain Children & Family Centres, Milton Keynes, Slough Borough Council and other organisations to ensure that all the donations we received were distributed to those genuinely in need. Of course the need was far greater than we could have ever imagined. With the generous support, kindness and hard work of many of our schools and parishes, and with additional support from Morrisons and Waitrose as well as Radio Host Bernie Keith and his team and listeners at BBC Radio, we were able to collect, sort, pack, and distribute over 550 Bags of Kindness containing gifts and toys across the diocese covering over 1500 local people. These items ranged from toys, books, games, puzzles, chocolates to luxury biscuits, slippers, socks, gloves and scarves, perfumes and aftershaves, makeup and jewellery, colouring books and baby gifts. All of which were so gratefully received by the organisations involved and put smiles on lots of faces at Christmas.
This year, with the continuing cost of living crisis, and even more help being required in all areas of the diocese we are planning to support many more in-need individuals and groups including – families with children, the elderly, the lonely and isolated, young carers, children from broken homes, children in care, young people leaving the care system, children from families suffering domestic abuse etc.
We would like to invite our schools and parishes to join in this campaign of kindness and generosity by collecting donations of much needed gifts, to put smiles on the faces of young families, children and the elderly living in isolation or poverty.
Thank you so much for arranging this, the gifts are amazing, and they will go to our vulnerable families.
We would like to say a huge thank you to you and the children at the schools for the wonderful gifts, they are absolutely beautiful, and the children will love them. Please pass on our thanks and we are so grateful to you for thinking of us. Merry Christmas.
We are just grateful to be able to have been part of spreading the kindness of Christmas to some of our families who need it the most. Thank you for all your help to support us to be able to do this.
We would like to say a huge thank you to you and the children at St Bernadette’s for the wonderful gifts, they are absolutely beautiful, and the children will love them. Please pass on our thanks and we are so grateful to you for thinking of us.
I have received a text on my work phone last night from a family we gifted a bag to who is living in the local refuge and the child attending with us at one of our family centres, the text read:
Thank you very much for this gift. Thank you for helping me so much with (child’s name). I’m going through difficult times now. Thank you again for everything.’
I collected very generously packed bags from Holy Family School this morning, which have been given to the Refuge Worker today to give to some other families and individuals that are living in refuge after fleeing Domestic Violence.
Just Three Simple Steps to Get Involved
Invite your parents and parishioners to give items from a gift list, or provide their own filled bag(s) of kindness, or donate money towards the campaign.
Organise fun filled and Christmassy packing days where schools and parishioners can come and help pack gift bags. Gifts can be packed at home, in schools, or in the church.
Bags and tags will be provided.
Let the Caritas office know when your Bags of Kindness are ready to be collected, and we will arrange for one or more of the organisations we have partnered with, to collect them and deliver them to those in most need in your local area.
Who will receive your bags of kindness?
We have, on behalf of the diocese, reached out to various organisation across each county within the diocese. They will be providing information as to who are most in genuine need locally. This could range from toddlers and pre-school children to older school children, low-income families and pensioners who are living in poverty. These people will all greatly benefit from a bag of kindness and a little extra comfort and joy this Christmas.
Caritas Northampton will liaise with these organisations for each parish, and they will distribute our bags of joy to the individuals and families on your behalf.
Preparing your bags of Kindness – How and What
This can be approached in one or more ways:
- Schools and Parishioners can donate toys and gifts for the bags which can then be made up centrally by a team of volunteers.
- Donations of gifts can be provided as prefilled bag(s) based on a list of those identified previously as in need. E.g., a female child aged 5, or an elderly man living alone, or even a bag of treats for a young family.
- Cash donations could be sought and used to purchase items and the bags made up.