Christmas is not all about presents it’s about charity, sharing, love and spreading that Christmas spirit. There may be a lot of presents with your name on them under the Christmas tree, but there are many people in our Preston community who have never received gifts because they are victims of war, poverty, disease and natural disasters. ‘Do something amazing this Christmas’ is one such project that strives to make a difference this year.
Jane Taylor, brainchild of this project says that this is her way of giving back and helping our local community. ‘Do something amazing this Christmas’ is a project that strives to pack essential requirements in over 50 shoeboxes for various centres across Preston, including Parkinson House (a mum and baby unit for disadvantaged families), Fox Street Homeless Shelter and Merriweather Care Home (for 16-25 year olds experiencing times of hardship).
Shoeboxes filled unwanted clothes, toys, toiletries and anything else of good quality.
“We researched online the different charities doing it such as Samaritans, but decided that we'd like to have a more hands on approach and have control over where the presents went, so I researched centres in our local area that could use our help and chose three that catered to women, men and children. This meant we were helping a more diverse group and having a bigger impact,” said Jane Taylor.
The shoe box donation will have ended by 17th December as the items will be put into shoe box style presents and are planned to be delivered to them on Christmas Eve, all wrapped up.
Organizers urged everyone to make a difference during Christmas, “Everyone at this university is fortunate to be working or have access to university education. There are plenty of people in our local community who have nothing. Let's make a difference.”
When asked what memories she takes from this experience, Taylor replied that hardest time was going in to visit the different centres and seeing what an amazing job the staff were doing, but how much help they still needed. “I suppose you feel like whatever you do it won't be enough, but if everyone thought the same nothing would get done! So we just have to do what we can.”
While her special moment yet was coming into university to find over 30 emails in one day responding to her requests for donations which were quite touching.
“But I'm sure the best bit is going to be giving out the presents.” she added.
The shoe boxes will be displayed at Preston North Premier Inn until Christmas.