Christmas has come to signify a time of excess. Eating, drinking, giving and receiving more than we need. But deep down, whether you are religious or not, Christmas isn’t really about that. It’s about kindness, compassion and making time for each other. Reaching out to people to wish them well or show your support.
Doing good this Christmas
While social media is quiet and blogging work is scarce, I thought it would be nice to help out a charity. Not a huge charity where any help would get lost in the ether. But a small one that does amazing things, but could do with a helping hand.
I ran the idea past my friend Jenny, and we set about looking for a charity that we felt we could make a difference to. Eventually, Jenny found Sal’s Shoes. They collect preloved children’s shoes and distribute them to children in dire need of help. According to their website, over 300 million children in the world rarely have the luxury of wearing shoes.
Whilst there are accepted benefits to going barefoot, there are also grave dangers. Children with nothing on their feet can end up with parasites and infections. Injuries can lead to conditions such as ulcers which don’t heal because they often have no access to healthcare. And in some parts of the world, children without shoes are denied access to education.
When CJ Bowry founded Sal’s Shoes four years ago, she looked for charities who could pass on her son Sal’s outgrown shoes to someone who needed them. At that point, there was no organisation able to tell her where his shoes would end up.
And it seems CJ was not alone in wanting to pass on perfectly good shoes. Since the charity was formed, over 500,000 pairs of shoes have been donated. Children in 26 countries have received them, including needy children in the UK. And right now, they are inundated with shoes. But donating shoes is not enough.
Because for those shoes to get to the children who need them takes money. And currently, it’s money that the charity doesn’t have.
How you can help – #sendshoes
Rather than asking everyone to donate, I thought it would be a good idea to raise awareness for the charity on social media. Because not everyone can afford to donate to charity, I understand that.
But the problem small charities have is that they don’t have the funds to advertise. This means they’re not at the forefront of people’s minds when they do have some cash to spare for charity. Which can end up being a vicious circle.
So, if you do want to donate, head to their fundraising page. And if you have a social media account on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr you can help without giving away a penny. I have set up a thunderclap campaign. If you sign up here, Thunderclap will post a tweet about Sal’s Shoes on your social media account at midday on 28th December. It will only post to the account you sign up with, and the Thunderclap page tells you exactly what the tweet will say.
Alternatively, schedule or send a tweet about Sal’s shoes yourself on 28th December, using the hashtag #sendshoes. It would be great to raise awareness about this charity and I genuinely believe that if enough people come together, we could really make a difference.