We all love the festive period each year.
Catching up with friends and family, spending time with loved ones and celebrating the year just passed. One of the greatest parts of Christmas is seeing the happiness on a child’s face when they open their presents on the morning of the 25th December. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, there is a high number of children who won’t have a single gift to open this year.
This is where we are wanting chambers all across the UK to get involved in the brand new JCI UK Christmas Appeal, an initiative aiming to provide children who are less fortunate with the Christmas they deserve.
We’re asking each chamber to host at least one of the three chosen events in their local community, with all gifts and profits going to a relevant children’s charity. We got guidelines for all three events, although chambers are free to make it their own! Find all the details below.
Run a Local Secret Santa Appeal
Over the years, local JCI Chambers have acted as the organisation that co-ordinates the collection of gifts locally by working with the local media, local collections points and a local organisation that can help distribute presents. JCI Bradford have been running their Secret Santa Appeal for decades, and JCI Derry run their Christmas Tree appeal every year. Why not get this great collection going in your own chamber this year? You’ll need to think about who you partner with to distribute the presents. Think about hospitals, hospices and local council children services as these are good starting points. You will also need to think about how people donate gifts and how you collect them. Supermarkets are a great place for both of these as you can get use them to raise awareness of the campaign, shoppers can buy the gifts there and then and also have a collection point on site. Large office buildings are also great for this, as a collection point in reception can really raise awareness of the appeal.
Hold a Christmas Quiz
A Christmas Quiz is a great way to get members, local businesses and the wider public involved in the campaign. This is an event JCI Doncaster have been running for a good few years. One night in December, you hold a quiz night where part of the entry fee is a gift for a child. All you need to do is find a venue, write the quiz, and then get promoting it! Make it a really good evening by putting on some classic winter warming food on that’s cheep as well, such as pie and peas or a warming winter stew so people can come straight from work. The cost of the food can be covered in the ticket price along side the gift. Try getting local business to enter a team, normally a max of five people, as this is a good way to get ticket sales quickly.
Join in the Samaritans Operation Christmas Child Appeal
Each year The Samaritans collect shoe boxes filled with gifts and useful items for children all around the world. Full details on what needs to go into the Shoe Boxes can be found on the Operation Christmas Child website. Chambers can ask their own members to get involved, run a campaign in the local area to help as many people as possible to put together a shoe box, or raise money to donate directly to the appeal. The Samaritans take care of the rest with the full distribution network in place.
Sounds great, what do we need to do next?
The first thing we need to know is what you and your chamber are planning on doing for the appeal. We’ll need a point of contact for the project(s) and then we can make sure we keep you informed of whats happening make sure you get the support you need. Please email National Secretariat Chloe and National President Ben to let us know you’re in! Over the next week or so, we will be publishing guides on how to run all three of these events. We’ll be supporting chambers as much as possible with this appeal so there’s no reason you can’t get involved and Be A World Changer for disadvantaged children this Christmas.
Questions? Our National Secretariat Chloe-Raine Burrows knows all the answers. Drop an email here.