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Reverse advent calendar (volunteering/acts of kindness)

(23 Posts)
BlackandWhitepostcards Fri 24-Nov-17 15:37:25

I briefly read something about this on Facebook. The idea that instead of 'having' something each day in advent we give something back instead (or as well as). Things like doing some volunteering or a random act of kindness.
I think it's such a lovely idea. Thinking of others and giving something back in the run up to Christmas. Lovely thing to do with the dc as well when often thoughts are on what presents they're having.
Has anyone else heard of this/done this? Or want to do it this year? I'm looking for ideas of things we can do each day.
Some ideas we had were:
Buying a Big Issue
Donating to food bank
Walking dogs at local rescue
Buying toy for collection for local child
Leaving pounds in trolleys
Donating unwanted toys to charity shop
Any more?
Would love to hear some ideas smile. Need to be things that children can be involved with as well please fsmile

MissionItsPossible Fri 24-Nov-17 15:44:36

Leaving kind messages in library books? (On a note not writing in the book)!

Aridane Fri 24-Nov-17 15:58:53

Never heard of leaving pounds in trolley - would just assume someone forgot / was in a hurry / couldn't operate the coin release

CaoNiMa Fri 24-Nov-17 16:05:12

Do it, by all means, but for Pete's sake don't document it on Facebook!

InMySpareTime Fri 24-Nov-17 16:19:18

We do Advent tasks, each day, for each person, one thing to do.
E.g. Make mince pies to give to the people on our street.
Wear a Christmas Jumper
Give biscuits to village shopkeepers
Put Christmas treats in the food bank box
Make Christingles
Bake a Gingerbread house to take to scouts
Make paper chains
Watch Muppet Christmas Carol
Sing in the Christmas Choir at church
Wear tinsel to Gang Show rehearsal
Tell stories & lead craft at the library storytime
Say "Merry Christmas" to a teacher

Etc. It changes every year, and has a mix of treats and altruism, but it really helps get away from the consumerism of Christmas.

CMOTDibbler Fri 24-Nov-17 17:06:18

Take some time to chat to people who are elderly or lonely when out and about
Buy a drink for the person behind you in a cafe
See if local homeless charities are collecting - ours are doing gift bags which you fill with gloves/hat/socks and toiletries
Buy some small gifts and take them to a local nursing home for them to give to people who wouldn't otherwise get them

BlackandWhitepostcards Fri 24-Nov-17 17:44:19

Thanks, some good ideas. Haha don't worry Cao I wasn't going to document it on Facebook.
Ari I guess I would think that too but it would save me looking for a pound and if someone wanted to keep the pound that would be fine too.
CMOT I love the idea of paying for someone's drink in a cafe but I think I'd feel too embarrassed / awkward blushgrin.
Keep the ideas coming! fsmile

BlackandWhitepostcards Sat 25-Nov-17 20:23:21

Hopeful bump for more suggestions [fsanta]

BlackandWhitepostcards Sat 25-Nov-17 20:23:44

Or even fsmile

educatingarti Sat 25-Nov-17 20:26:58

Pick up some litter in the park/ other public space.
Give someone a friendly smile
Make a donation to a local organisation working with the homeless.

educatingarti Sat 25-Nov-17 20:32:28

Cook cakes/biscuits/mince pies and give to neighbours.
Go carol singing but take a big box/tin of sweets like Quality Street and offer to neighbours rather than collecting money.
Call/facetime Grandma/Grandad/other relative that supports your dc and chat about your day.
Write a thank you note saying things you've particularly enjoyed/appreciated and include in a Christmas card for a teacher.

Gingernaut Sat 25-Nov-17 20:40:01

I've
donated clothes
left coins or tokens in shopping trolleys
bought branded gifts for a charity raffle there are relatively few people who want a opened jigsaw which has been donated or given multiple times and makes an appearance every year
donated food to the food bank box by the supermarket exits
Won a charity raffle prize and gave it back so it could be won again.

educatingarti Sat 25-Nov-17 20:40:25

Be a good friend to someone today ( could be looking out for someone on their own or on a 'buddy bench" at school if your children are in primary and playing with them.)
Make or buy and fill a bird feeder and hang on the garden.
Offer to rake up leaves in the garden of an elderly neighbour or relative.
Make a Christmas decoration to give to neighbour/relative ( thinking cutting sticking gluing glittering here)

educatingarti Sat 25-Nov-17 20:43:05

Buy some chocolate coins and give one out randomly to people you pass on school run or on bus etc

crisscrosscranky Sat 25-Nov-17 20:50:05

Buy some chocolate coins and give one out randomly to people you pass on school run or on bus etc

There's random acts of kindness and then there's just looking like a nut case 😂

I arranged a reverse advent at work last year- every team donated 24 items that went to the local food bank. I'm not going to lie- it felt like we'd done something really good even though everyone's individual effort was small.

BlackandWhitepostcards Mon 27-Nov-17 11:45:25

There are three local animal rescues looking for food and blankets so that can be three separate things too.

Leeds2 Mon 27-Nov-17 11:59:50

Give up your seat for someone else on a crowded bus/tube/train.
Walk a neighbour's dog for them.
Go to carol service and donate to the collection.
Get the children to make cakes/biscuits, and donate them to the school office/staff room.

Gingernaut Mon 27-Nov-17 14:59:02

Found this passing through my Facebook timeline.

BlackandWhitepostcards Mon 27-Nov-17 17:09:37

Ah this is lovely. Thank you.
So far we have.
Pick up litter in local park.
Take elderly relative for day out.
Donate to animal charities x 3
Make up some bags for homeless charities with hats, gloves, bottles of water, sanitary products, health bars etc.
Leave some £1 coins in trolleys.
Donate something special to the food bank.
Give a toy to the collection for local children.
Buy a big issue.
If I can't come up with 24 things I will repeat some of these.
Are there any other charities of causes anyone can think of that I could donate some time or money or items to? Any more random acts of kindness we could do?

BlackandWhitepostcards Mon 27-Nov-17 17:50:41

Our local children's hospice is also collecting presents for the children there.

Leeds2 Mon 27-Nov-17 18:31:14

Your local Home-Start may well be collecting toys too.

educatingarti Mon 27-Nov-17 20:33:05

What about sorting through toys to see if there is anything your dcs have grown out of that they can donate to a charity shop (helps twice, the charity and other parents who may be on a very tight budget for Christmas presents)

KStay Fri 01-Dec-17 10:34:02

I work at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at Birmingham University. We produce research and resources for those interested in the character education of young people and children. We know that parents are using our resources more and more, so we decided to create some specialized resources for parents. We though the idea of an Advent calendar was great, so we wrote a blog and created one for parents. This thread was very useful (you might notice how we were inspired by your thoughts). Here is the blog and calendar. Hope you enjoy!
virtueinsight.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/kindness-at-christmas/

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