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Day 1 – Advent In Reverse

Giving back this December with door number One: the 'Reverse Advent Calendar'...

The concept of a reverse advent calendar helps us all give back this December, and teach our Children that Christmas is about more than receiving gifts.

The reverse advent challenge can make a real difference to peoples lives this Winter. The general concept is the opposite of the traditional advent calendar in that instead of taking something out each day, we put something in. Starting from the 1st of December, you add something into a box each day, so that by the 25th of December (or just before) you have a box full of items to donate to a food bank or local charity.

December can be a particularly challenging month for those who already use food banks, with the financial pressures of festive holidays and school holidays, it can make affording the basics even more difficult. That is why this initiative is so important. By putting aside just one item a day from your weekly shop or unwanted gifts, you could be making a real difference for a family this December.

The items do not need to be expensive, and if you can’t stretch to one every single day – that’s okay. Give what you can and make it fun, let the kids pick the items, chose a theme or make it into a competition within the family. Any way you can to create a ‘reverse advent calendar’ can make a huge difference. Make sure you check your local food banks last collection before Christmas, to make sure those in need are not worried about where their next meal will come from at the end of this month. Food banks all across the U.K. have compiled lists of suggested items that make great contributions to reverse advent calendars, but anything you can afford to give will help. We have listed a few of these recommendations below. If you are still not sure, contact your local food bank and ask:

    • Cereal
    • Stuffing Mix
    • Potatoes
    • Canned Fruit/Veg
    • Canned Tuna
    • Jars of Sauces (i.e. cranberry, jams)
    • Packets of Rice
    • Oats
    • Dry Pasta
    • Pasta sauce
    • Canned Soup
    • Long-life milk
    • Long-life juice
    • Tinned or packet puddings
    • Packets of biscuits
    • Tea bags/Instant coffee
    • Rice pudding
    • Toiletries such as deodorant, toothpaste, shower gel.
    • Chocolate – it is Christmas!

If you are still not sure how you can help, York Cares have put together a Christmas Wish List, listing 12 charities, what they need and their collection deadlines. The 2023 Wish-list can be accessed here: Christmas Wish List 2023 – Google Sheets

If you are unable to access the wish-list, please contact Ebba at info@yorkcares.co.uk.

This is the first of many ways we can pass on the Christmas spirit to others this December. See you tomorrow for door number 2!