The Other Advent Calendar
I recently tumbled on Facebook over a very specific post and the idea in it, is probably one of the best things I've heard over the last couple of months. It came form the biggest charity organisation in Vienna, Caritas & the Gruft. It's about awareness, giving and, most of all, thinking. And because today is thanksgiving, a day meant to be spend with family, thinking about what you're grateful for and a day, that makes the beginning of the festive season, I thought, why not share this idea with you!
It's called the reversed Advent Calendar, or "umgekehrter Adventskalender" in German. After researching a bit, I realised it's not the newest idea on planet earth, quite a few people have done it for years now, but it is, the first time that I heard of it.
The idea is as simple as it could get, you grab a box, and instead of opening a each day a little door, like you would with a traditional advent calendar, you collect 24 useful things which you then can donate to a Charity.
For me, one of those people who are constantly looking for ideas on how to help people in need, it is perfect. There are so many that are less fortunate then we are, so many that sometimes just need this little moment of help, a little thoughtfulness to struggle less in their life.
So, anyway, since I am big on the charity side of life, I decided to make my own reversed Advent Calendar this year.
I will collect for an homeless shelter, maybe even a home for homeless teenagers, but you can really collect for any charity organisation you'd like.
Mother and Child Homes, retirement homes, hospices, homeless shelters, charity shops. You name it. The main point here is, to take each day a second and think about what another person might need, no matter if you are clearing out your closet and finding that old jumper you might not wanna wear again, or if you are standing in the supermarket and decide to buy an extra box of crackers for someone hungry.
Even if the idea of collecting 24 things stresses you out, maybe you have one or two things you'd actually like to get rid of? Maybe they are not the most practical thing, but maybe someone else would love this item, so why not bring it to a local charity shop?
I don't know how many people think the same way than I do, but even if I just encourage one more person to donate one single item this holiday season, it would mean the world to me.
Below I tried to collect a few ideas on products that are normally asked for at homeless shelters and mother and child homes (the ones I follow regularly ask for those) and a few addresses where you can drop of your collection in the end for London and Vienna.
If you are from another city and wan to collect too, just drop me a message, I will find places for you so you don't have the work or researching!
Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, a great start into the festive season and a great day!
Depending on what kind of organisation you decide to collect for, either a Homeless Shelter, a Mother and Child Home or any other kind of organisation, I collected a few ideas.
FOOD: Cookies, Crackers, Honey, Canned Veg, Fruit or Soups, Long Life Milk, Long Life Juices, Rice, Pasta, Sugo's, Tea, Instant Coffee, Baby Food ... - anything dry or canned
CLOTHES: Hats, Gloves, Socks, New Underwear, Jumpers, Coats, Jackets, Shoes, Baby-clothes, ... - anything clean and still useable
TOILETRIES: One-Time-Use-Razors, Soap, Toothbrushes, Shampoo, Showergel, Nappies, Baby Wipes, ... - anything new
OTHERS: Toys, Books, Blankets, Bed-Linen, Towels, Sleeping Bags, Pillows, Board and Card Games, Schoolbags, School-supplies, Pens and Drawing Accessories, ...
Where to bring your donation in London
Where to bring your donation in Vienna
- Gruft for food, clothes and toiletries
- Caritas for everything you want to donate
- Mutter Kind Haus for food, clothes and toiletries, toys