I absolutely love christmas and every year spend far too much money spoiling my family with beautiful gifts but the gift I have the most fun putting together isn’t for anyone I know… Every year I put together two gift boxes for the homeless and go and give them to someone in need.

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I set myself of a budget of £10 per box, but always end up going just a little over…

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Super warm hats, socks, gloves and new underwear are all great things to add to the box. As well as waterproofs, an umbrella or a new lightweight backpack.

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I was advised by Shelter, the wonderful homeless charity, on what to include. They recommended not putting anything too flashy or expensive looking as you could make the person who receives your gift a target. You can get all of these from Primark or even the £1 shop who are selling thermal hats & gloves at the moment.

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If you want to include toiletries keep everything mini and lightweight or they may end up being thrown away as they are too heavy to carry around.

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I’ve used old shoe boxes and wrapped them nicely, but packing them up in a cheap backpack would work perfectly.

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When I go to give my gifts I always also include a 2l bottle of water – as dehydration is a huge problem for the homeless as well as a Pret Christmas Sandwich and some fruit. Try not to include too many sweet things as most homeless people suffer from dental issues.

If you don’t have time to put together a christmas box, you could just offer to buy someone you pass every day on your way to work breakfast or lunch? Or you buy a christmas gift pack directly from Crack + Cider… £60 for the full ‘Warm & Dry Set’ but there are lots of cheaper options on their website too!

There are so many other ways to help the this christmas, you could donate to Shelter or volunteer, or give a gift to someone in need with Save The Children.

Are you volunteering this Christmas? Or sending out an extra gift or two to the homeless, elderly or children in need? Tweet me a picture at @Poppy_Carter or post it on my Facebook!

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