Kindness has never been more important, says the St Vincent De Paul Society for England and Wales (SVP) who launched their Gift of Kindness Christmas Appeal, to coincide with World Kindness Day.
The appeal, which is prompted by the rising number of people asking the SVP for help due to the cost of living crisis, aims to raise vital funds to support people who are struggling with spiraling energy bills, rising food prices and the rocketing cost of everyday essentials.
In the last few months, people seeking support from the SVP has doubled, and this figure will continue to rise during the coldest winter months. The SVP is urging anyone who would like to turn their concern into action to donate to the SVP Gift of Kindness Christmas Appeal this festive season.
Funds raised from the appeal will help the SVP to give someone the ‘gift of kindness’ this Christmas and bring comfort, joy, hope and reassurance during the coming months. Donations will go to the SVP’s Cost of Living Support Fund and as an extra incentive, donations will be doubled* thanks to the generosity of some of the SVP’s supporters. The appeal will run throughout the festive season and ends on Sunday 8 January 2023.
The SVP recently helped Darren, who was homeless and living on the streets in a small tent. The charity helped find him a safe place to live. The joy on his face when he moved into his own flat was priceless. This Christmas, he will be helping others by volunteering at his local St Vincent’s centre in Southend-on-Sea.
Darren said “I would not have been able to turn my life around without the SVP. I owe so much to the charity.”
Donations from the Gift of Kindness Christmas Appeal, will help SVP’s local community-based volunteer groups and its St Vincent’s community support centres, to provide compassionate services such as befriending, a warm meal in a heated hall, food parcels, warm winter packs, as well as advice on managing debt and mental health, to help cope with the anxiety the current financial climate inevitably brings.
SVP Chief Executive Elizabeth Palmer says: “In these troubled times, it is lower income households, those sidelined by society, or people who are already struggling, who are hit hardest by the financial squeeze. Thanks to your donations to our Gift of Kindness Christmas Appeal, we will be there to help anyone who needs us.
“Our community-based groups, St Vincent’s community centres and shops offer a beacon of hope and a place of welcome during these challenging times, so your donations are more important than ever.”
The SVP’s services are community-led because it believes that the people who best know the challenges and problems in any community are the people who live there. Across England and Wales local SVP groups and St Vincent’s support centres offer a moment of calm in the turbulence of life, a place to learn, grow and feel empowered to succeed. The SVP’s approach is always as individual as those they serve because every one of the people it helps is unique.
Every year SVP volunteers spend more than 350,000 hours providing support to those who need it, and more than 55,066 people have been given material or practical help by local SVP groups with services including food, furniture, clothing, electrical goods and daily essentials.
Elizabeth Palmer concludes: “Please turn your concern into action and give the gift of kindness to someone who really needs it this Christmas. Please support our Gift of Kindness Christmas Appeal, because we’re always stronger when we are united.”
To donate to the SVP Gift of Kindness Christmas Appeal, visit fundraising.svp.org.uk/kindness or call 07593 384 429 during office hours.