Xmas giving ideas: #FiveQuidFoodBank Secret Santa and #ReverseAdvent!

As the Christmas frenzy begins, here are some ways to help others while celebrating the festive season: #FiveQuidFoodBank Secret Santa; #ReverseAdvent calendar; and Ocado food bank donation matching.

Each of these suggestions came from lovely folks on Twitter. If you know of other great ways to raise funds for charity in the run-up to Christmas, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or get in touch via Twitter or Instagram!

Xmas giving idea 1: #FiveQuidFoodbank Secret Santa


A few weeks back, I hosted some words from the exceptional Russ Jones on the #FiveQuidFoodBank campaign, which encourages people to donate £5 to their local food bank, or directly to the Trussell Trust. Russ wrote:

“This year, in the world’s seventh richest economy, just one of the many charities for the poor will hand out 1.2 million food parcels for families who can’t afford to feed themselves. […] So please, forego the Costa and blueberry muffin. Do without a chocolate bar on a couple of nights. And spend that money on those in desperate need.”

A number of lovely folk responded to Russ’ guest post with ideas for charity initiatives.

Claire McAlpine offers a great suggestion: #FiveQuidFoodBank donations at workplace Christmas celebrations, to take the place of Secret Santa gifts.

This is such a good idea. Secret Santa gifts are well intentioned. But they will most likely be forgotten after a few seconds’ seasonal laughter. How much better to use the £5 to help feed those in need.

Claire shared a great little run of tweets, explaining the #FiveQuidFoodBank Secret Santa idea. Why not give it a go for your own workplace Xmas celebration?

Xmas giving idea 2: Reverse Advent


Joanne Grey tweeted about the #ReverseAdvent Calendar. This was an entirely new idea to me. But it is a wonderful one. Joanne says:

“We’re doing a reverse advent calendar as well as our regular donations. Every day you put a useful item in a box such as tinned goods, toiletries, warm accessories like hats or gloves then take it to a local shelter or food bank Xmas week. Things are just so bad.”

Following on from Joanne’s suggestion, the fine folks behind the Burnage Parkrun Twitter account shared a great graphic with details of their own #ReverseAdvent campaign, which benefits Stockport Foodbank. They point out that many other food banks are taking part in similar schemes.

It seems that #ReverseAdvent is also a thing in the US. Both Steve Browne and Baskaran Ambalavanan tweeted me to let me know.

Xmas giving idea 3: Ocado matches food bank donations

WelshGirlAbroad tweeted about an excellent initiative from grocery delivery service Ocado to help food banks:

“Also if you do online shopping @Ocado will match any donation to foodbanks which you can add to your order.”

Ocado explain more about this superb scheme on their website:

“You give money, we give food. Buy a £2.50 voucher and we’ll give at least £5 of fresh groceries to our charity food partners. So your donation counts for double or more.”


Let me know your Xmas giving ideas!

If you know of other great ways to raise funds for charity in the run-up to Christmas, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or get in touch via Twitter or Instagram!

May today be nothing but kind to you and yours.



  • Original #FiveQuidFoodBank image and the special festive “remix” thereof that accompanies this post by the great Simon Heath.
  • Victorian Christmas illustration, via Wikimedia Commons.
  • Xmas star, via Wikimedia Commons.

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