’Tis the season for giving, as well as receiving, so here we find out how readers can support some worthy causes this festive season.
As Scotland gets ready to wind down for Christmas, the Salvation Army is mobilising officers, staff and volunteers to help thousands of vulnerable people.
Through its present appeal, emergency food provisions, Christmas Day lunches, residential support for older people and those experiencing homelessness and music and carolling events, the organisation aims to spread festive cheer to those in need.
The Salvation Army is encouraging people to add an extra toy to their shopping list so that every Christmas tree can have a surprise underneath it. The Christmas Present Appeal is this year expected to benefit around 5000 Scottish children.
Fresh food hampers, put together from donations and the proceeds of carolling, will also be distributed to families and people referred by local social workers and agencies.
And staff at its centres for people experiencing homelessness will be working on Christmas Day to ensure they too enjoy the festive season. Many Salvation Army community churches and centres are hosting Christmas Day lunches for people who would otherwise spend it alone.
Gifts for the present appeal, for children from birth up to 16 years of age, can be dropped off at any Salvation Army church, shop or centre.
The charity is also appealing for people to donate £19 this Christmas – to provide a box filled with food and modest gifts for a family in need. To find out more, visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk.
Alzheimer Scotland has launched a new campaign – What will you support? Give and Make a Difference – to raise awareness of the life-changing support it provides for people living with dementia and their families in the heart of our local communities.
With more than 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland, most families have felt its impact.
Alzheimer Scotland provides a diverse range of dementia-specific activities, support and care for people across Scotland but it relies on fundraising to continue its work.
To support the campaign, visit www.alzscot.org/makeadifference.
The charity also sells a range of tartan gifts, from flat caps to teddies, ideal for pressies. For unique gift ideas this Christmas, visit the website www.alzscot.org/shop.
The SSPCA has an online shop with a variety of gifts, from mugs to tote bags.
This year, the charity also released an album written by acclaimed Scottish songwriter John McLaughlin, who has worked with Busted and Westlife, in line with University of Glasgow research to relax your dog.
This is especially good for fireworks during the festive season as it can help relieve stress, lower stress hormones and can lead to more chilled behaviour.
To purchase a copy, visit the website www.scottishspca.org/shop/catalogue.
In 2017, donations helped the SSPCA speak to more than 278,500 children, answer more than 236,200 calls to its helpline and find homes for 5410 rescued animals
For more information, visit www.scottishspca.org.
Also helping animals, WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in some 100 countries.
WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature by conserving the world’s biological diversity and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
This Christmas, you can adopt a snow leopard, polar bear or tiger from as little as £3 a month and receive a cuddly toy and updates.
Or you can purchase a range of gifts from the charity – from T-shirts and mugs to keyrings and tote bags.
Visit the website support.wwf.org.uk for more information.