Birstall church launches reverse Advent calendar appeal to help families in need
Young people at a Birstall church want to ensure Christmas comes early for some of the families who are most in need.
The eight girls, who make up the Ignite youth group at St Saviour’s Church in Brownhill, wanted to make a real difference this Christmas.
Supported by church curate, Rev Mike Green, the group came up with the idea for a reverse Advent calendar.
Instead of opening doors to receive gifts, the girls – aged between 11 and 16 - have come up with a way people can donate a parcel of goods – and a present for a child - in time for the festive period.
Rev Green said: “Instead of receiving, Ignite’s reverse Advent calendar is all about giving.
“I wanted to let these young people realise that they can make a real difference, and if they make that difference now it will inspire them to make a difference in the future.
“And if others see that a small group at a church can do this, then maybe it will inspire them too.”
The reverse Advent calendar starts on November 1 rather than December 1 to allow time for people to collect the various items and get them to the church in plenty of time for the group to have them distributed to those in need.
Each day from November 1 to 24 people are asked to put a certain item in a box.
At the end of the month – and no later than December 8 – the parcels must be dropped off at the church or have been collected.
The items to collect are: Day 1 savoury biscuits; 2 tinned fruit; 3 toothpaste and brush; 4 rice; 5 teabags; 6 shower gel; 7 crisps; 8 tinned fish; 9 flour; 10 cooking oil; 11 chocolates; 12 instant coffee; 13 long life milk; 14 sanitary products; 15 cereals; 16 tinned vegetables; 17 pasta; 18 a book/toy (wrapped with suggested age); 19 shampoo; 20 Christmas treat; 21 cordial; 22 soap; 23 sugar; 24 tinned meat (not pork).
The group is supporting five charities: The Kirkwood, Women’s Aid, Macmillan Cancer Support, Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield (DASH) and Batley Care and Drop In.
The parcels will be distributed by Batley Care and people can also make a donation via a barcode. All monies donated will be shared equally between the charities.
So far two high schools, three primary schools and a social club have agreed to take part.
For more information, email [email protected] or contact the church on Brookroyd Lane.