Tis the season to be jolly! I can’t speak for everyone – but in this most unusual of years for me ‘stuff’ has become less important, and its more about the people in our lives, the freedom in being able to move around and the simple things in life. You don’t know what you have got until it’s gone!

As I started my own Christmas Gifting list, I realised that yes I am going to support local businesses, but I would also like to support local charities. Charities have been hit very hard this year, with most fundraising decimated and with the Christmas season, when many charities traditionally fundraise, looking completely different – how can we support local charities who give so much to the people and communities they look after. The needs in our communities are huge this year with people who never needed help before now needing assistance – particularly around fuel, food and toys for children.

Here is a list of some local charities that are appealing for donations and assistance this year. Many are opting for a money donation option as physical donations are more difficult in the COVID Climate. Some have small gift options which is a nice touch too. Giving a gift while giving to charity.

Sligo Social Services: They provide a meals on wheels services, a friendly call service, a thrift shop and support vulnerable families in Sligo. This will be particularly important this Christmas. They have a donate button on their website. 

St. Vincent De Paul: Usually St. Vincent De Paul would be gathering items for distribution at Christmas. Again – this year – all donations are online, with nice options to by a virtual gift, a virtual hamper etc.

Sligo Lions Club: This group usually collect foodstuffs for people in need at supermarkets in the run up to Christmas, which will not be possible this year. They have an I-Donate link on their Facebook Page to assist them in buying food and essentials for those who need it.

STOP Suicide: They are a community, voluntary body that works to prevent suicide by informing, educating and promoting positive suicide prevention policies throughout the west and north-west of Ireland.
We cater for all age groups and we operate with a strict “no waiting list” policy. They have a donation button on their Facebook Page and Website. Fun Christmas Jumper days are an idea for fundraising as well. The Sligo Weekender are selling a beautiful book which is a compilation of local pictures and donating some of the monies from it to this charity also. http://sligoweekender.ie/2020/11/16/ideal-christmas-gift-best-sligo-weekender-volume-one-now/

Focus Ireland: Supporting people experiencing homelessness. There are some fun ideas around Sponsoring a Star and running a Christmas Jumper Day to fundraise. They are also accepting donations on their website.

North West Simon Community: Supporting people experiences homelessness. Donations accepted on their Facebook Page and their website

Having a Laugh Book: A little book of inspiration and hope – why not have the win win of getting a lovely gift for someone while supporting Havin A Laugh who strive to promote positive mental health. The book is on sale here or through Liber Bookshop.

IT Sligo Students – Draw for Jigsaw: Take part in Jigsdraw by posting your artwork online, tagging people and donate to Jigsaw. Donors are entered into a draw to win prizes. Draw takes place early December. Check it out here.

North West Hospice: Nice options to purchase Christmas cards online and a lovely Christmas tree bauble as well in support of the Hospice. Donations also welcome. Check out their website for all the options.

Charity Shops: Charity Shops are closed at the moment under Level 5 Restrictions – but once they re-open they are often a treasure trove for sustainable gifting. Some of the shops have options to shop online.

North West Hospice: Please visit donedeal.ie and in the search bar North West Hospice . There you will find a selection of our furniture, books and toys. Check their Facebook book page for details.

Enable Ireland: There is a click and collect option here and you can see their wares on their Facebook Page.

National Charities: 

Laura Lynn: LauraLynn’s mission is to provide a Community of Care that delivers evidence-based, personalised services to children with palliative care needs, complex care needs and complex disabilities, while also providing family support services and a home to our residents where quality-of-life is paramount. You can buy Christmas Cards, Tote Bags, Shopping trolleys and gifts of care and time. See their website for details.

Jack & Jill: Jack & Jill provide in-home nursing care and respite support for children up to the age of five, with a range of neurodevelopmental issues including brain injury, genetic diagnosis and severe cerebral palsy. Many of the children we care for have undiagnosed conditions. We also provide end of life care for children under the age of 5, regardless of diagnosis. You can give gifts of care as well as Christmas Cards, Wrapping paper and other trinkets. See here

Make A Wish Foundation makes wishes of terminally ill children come true. You can support them by purchasing or contributing towards someone’s Wishes. Check out their website.

Dublin Zoo: The Zoo is in financial difficulty with the COVID restrictions hampering its ability to welcome visitors. So if animals are your cause and you want to donate or sponsor an animal, check out their website.

This is just a selection. Please do let us know if there are other causes fundraising this Christmas and we would be happy to include them.

You can always choose to do your own Fundraiser for your chosen charity. There are many options to link your fundraiser to the charities pages and have a bit of fun. It can be anything – a dip in the sea, a distance run, a bake off. If you have ideas or want to chat about your ideas please do get in touch!