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International Human Solidarity Day

A light grey poster with three Chriustmas gifts on the left. To the right the text "International Human Solidarity Day - 20th December."

December 20th marks International Human Solidarity Day – a day to

  • celebrate our unity in diversity;
  • remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements;
  • raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity;
  • encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty eradication;
  • a day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication. (2021, taken from https://www.un.org/en/observances/human-solidarity-day)

With the recent identification of the Omicron variant, it’s likely we will have another sui generis Christmas (déjà vu anyone?) The latest restrictions will affect people in different ways, so it’s important to try to make the most of whatever we’ll be “allowed” to do this year. Solidarity will definitely be allowed regardless of the time of the year or your circumstances, so if this is of interest to you, read on.

Gift to charitable causes

Rather than handing a loved one a gift this Christmas, why not gifting something to a charitable cause in their name? There are several options, from gifting a Christmas dinner for a homeless person, or a parcel to support women and children escaping domestic violence, or a straight money donation to a charity of your choice.

Support a foodbank

Most supermarkets have dedicated areas for food donations already, but if you’re unsure ask directly to a member of staff. If you’re wondering what is accepted, then have a look at the suggested food items and non-food items from The Trussell Trust foodbanks. There are also independent foodbanks operating across the UK – check them at Food Aid Network.

One person’s waste is another person’s gold

Planning on upgrading some electricals or simply dispose of items you don’t use this Christmas? Why not donate them to charity? Charities have different requirements to accept items, but this way you’ll ensure the items are out to good use. The British Heart Foundation will arrange collection of furniture and electricals. Most charities will accept clothing, shoes, accessories, toys, games – please ensure they are in good condition and clean. Check your local charities and donate directly. Alternatively, if your items can’t be donated, then check our tips to discard or revamp them sustainably.

Christmas appeals

This is the season to be generous after all. Reach out to your local charities or even radio stations and find out about the latest events. Forth One is currently running their mission for Cash for Kids.

Charity begins at home

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the bigger picture and missing what’s just there in front of us. Do you have elder relatives or neighbours? How frequently do you speak to them? Would it help if you offered to help with their shopping? Or simply just chat? There are many simple (and free) ways to support. Have a look at Age UK’s Random Acts of Kindness for some inspiration and do good close to home.   

Gift your time

Are you good at cooking? Or simply great at chatting to people? Several charities need skilled people to volunteer during this busy period. Find opportunities via Reach – the skills-based volunteering charity in the UK.   

Gift the “gift of life”

It’s free  and can save lives. Give blood are currently looking for more O positive and negative donors, but will welcome all donations.

What about you? Do you have any ideas on how to gift differently this year? Or simply how to celebrate International Human Solidarity Day? We’d like to hear about them, so share your tips below and help our readers decide on unique ways to gift loved ones and the community in general.

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