Turn advent on its head and donate to your local food bank with a Reverse Advent Calendar. Find out all about this new tradition and download our Reverse Advent Calendar Poster for your fridge door.
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The Reverse Advent Calendar idea is so simple – rather than receiving a treat each day, you gift one.
Packed to the brim with Christmas spirit, it’s an ideal tradition to start in your home and perfect for reminding little ones (and us if we’re honest!) to think of others at this busy time of year.
Read on to find out all about creating a Reverse Advent Calendar for your local food bank and download our Reverse Advent Calendar poster to stick on your fridge door.
Turning Advent On Its Head
What Is A Reverse Advent Calendar?
A relatively new tradition, Reverse Advent Calendars are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to give back on the run up to Christmas.
This is homemade advent calendar creation on a grand scale! Bringing joy, comfort and support to a whole host of people all at once.
Each day, rather than (or as well as!) receiving a Christmas countdown treat, a long-life product is added to a growing collection. Have fun designing your calendar container and selecting the items with your family and perhaps take the opportunity to discuss the important issues surrounding food poverty at the same time.
Then on Christmas Eve you can enjoy delivering your Reverse Advent Calendar to a local collection point – whether a food bank, local church, supermarket, etc.
Spread The Word!
Like what you’ve seen? Be sure to share with your friends.
Let’s sprinkle Christmas cheer far and wide!
empty bottle box musings
How Did The Reverse Advent Calendar Tradition Start?
Canadian Julie Van Rosendaal is credited with creating the Reverse Advent Calendar concept back in 2015.
Staring at an empty 12-bottle wine box, she thought the spaces would be perfect for collecting daily contributions to donate to her local food bank in Calgary.
The idea took off and by December 1st, people on both sides of the Atlantic were busily filling their calendar boxes.
Since then, a large number of UK Charities have initiated their own Reserve Advent Calendar campaign and the difficulty now is choosing who to support. Options range from food banks to baby banks, animal shelters to gift drives for children.
But of course you don’t have to support a formally organised event – most charities will be delighted to receive a Christmas treat of twenty-four appropriate and thoughtful contributions towards their cause.
More Like This?
Looking for other ways to give back this Christmas? We’ve got a whole host of inspirational stories and ideas from around the country.
it’s as easy as you want it to be
Steps To Make A Reverse Advent Calendar
1. Select the organisation you’d like to support.
2. Check their website to see if they have a Reverse Advent Calendar campaign running. If not, reach out and ask what donations would be most helpful and where / when to deliver them.
3. Grab a container. An old cardboard box will do just fine. (You can go to town decorating the box and create 24 sections with the date on each if you’d like. We normally just wrap our box with some leftover wrapping paper from last year.)
4. Gather your items over the countdown and take pleasure dropping them off ahead of Christmas.
Jolly Festive Tip
To ensure your donations reach their destination in good time for Christmas distribution, consider doing a November Reverse Advent Calendar instead.
help other families enjoy Christmas too!
Organised Food Bank Reverse Advent Calendars
There’s never been a better time to offer your support to food banks. Pressure on these organisations always increases in the winter months and events this year mean they expect demand to be greater than ever.
The Trussell Trust oversee a vast nationwide network of food banks across Britain, with a mission to Stop UK Hunger. Research estimates demand for their services will be 61% higher this winter, equating to distribution of six emergency food parcels every minute around the country!
Whilst we’re sure that almost any organisation would be happy to receive a donation of 24 goodies, here are a few of the big Reverse Advent Calendar projects nationwide:
long life products aplenty
What To Collect In Your Reverse Advent Calendar
Of course the best way to decide what to include is to reach out to your chosen charity or food bank and ask what they need.
Generally any contributions of brand new, sealed long life products are appreciated. So it could be a great way to clear out the kitchen cupboards ahead of the festivities (as long as products are in date!).
We’ve created a free printable poster with 24 commonly-requested items which you can print out and pop on your fridge door. However below are a few ideas to get your started.
Food items such as
- tinned meats, fish, vegetables & fruit
- UHT milk
- packets of pasta, rice & lentils
- puddings & biscuits
- tea, coffee and sugar
Other household products such as:
- sanitary products
- nappies and baby wipes
- toilet roll
We love the idea of adding a few extra Christmas treats into the box. However it’s important to remember distribution lead times which doing this. So do check with the food bank when they need the donations.
FREE printable ready for your fridge door
Download Your Reverse Advent Calendar Poster
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Our comprehensive 10-Step guide will walk you through everything you need to know when planning & creating a homemade advent calendar.