XmasInG53 & #SantaShoutOuts
Christmas can sometimes be a difficult time for families in a regular year, this year will no doubt be tougher given the challenges we have been experiencing due to COVID-19.
Some families will have lost a loved one, some will have seen a reduction in their income, some will be struggling with their mental health. All of this will be putting added pressure on people to get through Christmas.
Therefore, G53Together has focused attention to the festive season and how to help make the Christmas period a bit easier for the residents of Greater Pollok.
We started by teaming up with Glasgow’s Spirit of Christmas to collect donations of toys and gifts for children and young people locally. We also have a Crowdfunding page for anyone who would like to donate money to help buy gifts. To date (14th Dec 2020) we have reached 215% of our target, raising over £2,000 with donations continuing to be received. (Insert Toys Donation 2 image)
Donations are being dropped into Swamp Community Development Trust daily, where our volunteers are sorting and wrapping them. Much of the cash donations have gone to buying for the teenage children who can be often forgotten about. G53Together have purchased make up, toiletries and gift cards for this age group to ensure all the children receive a gift.
We identified the children and young people to receive gifts through investigative calls made to the families we have supported. Volunteers started these calls at the end November, asking families if they needed any support for Christmas including children’s gifts, fuel costs and food parcels. The helpline also received calls from local businesses and partner organisations, referring families that they feel could benefit from G53Together’s support. We also received self-referrals from worried families about how they were struggling due to a change in their circumstances. (Insert Toys Donation 1 image)
The families requiring help with food will be referred to Pollok Baptist Church, who will provide food parcels.
On Friday 18th December, G53Together will host a Santa Live Facebook event in partnership with The Village Storytelling Centre & SAPC Community Sport Hub. The event will stream live at 4pm on Facebook and will include a Christmas Story, singing elves, The Voice Children’s Choir and a message from Pollok Baptist Church and Councillor David McDonald. Attendees can receive a #SantaShoutOut by adding their name to the live feed comments section. (Insert Santa Live image)
Families will also be invited to request a personalised video message from Santa, including their child/ren’s gift of choice and what good deeds they have been doing. Once recorded, messages will then be sent to the families on the 21st/22nd of December to watch with their children. Many families have commented that “this is a great idea given that many children are unable to visit Santa due to lockdown restrictions.”
Volunteers and staff are working round the clock to make #XmasInG53 2020 extra special for everyone!