Creating a Homemade Advent Calendar for a loved one is a fabulous way to show you care. But, a Reverse Advent Calendar brings joy and support to a whole host of people, including those you may not even know!
Tell me more
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.
Steps To Create Your Reverse Advent Calendar
- Select the organisation you’d like to support.
- Check their website to see if they have a Reverse Advent Calendar campaign. If not, reach out to ask what donations would be most helpful and where / when to deliver them.
- Grab yourself a container. An old cardboard box will do just fine. Decorate it as much or as little as you’d like.
- Gather your items and take pleasure in dropping them off ahead of Christmas.
Note: Most organisations prefer unwrapped gifts so that they can check contents and find the best home for donations.
Tip: You may prefer to start your calendar early, or do a November Reverse Advent Calendar instead, so that your donations can reach their destination in good time to be distributed for Christmas.
Food banks are the most popular choice and there’s never been a better time to offer your support to these projects. Pressure on food banks 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!
Most Reverse Advent Calendars are aimed at collecting brand new, sealed items to pass along. However, you could also use it as a good motivator to clear your cupboards ahead of Christmas and donate pre-loved items to a charity shop or appropriate organisation.
What Should I Put in my Reverse Advent Calendar?
Of course the best way to prepare your collection list is to speak with your chosen organisation and find out what they need.
However, we’ve prepared Reverse Advent Calendar check-lists for some of the most popular themes to save you the work. Download and stick on your fridge to keep track.
If you’d to get more directly involved in your local community this winter and sprinkle some festive cheer, you might like to consider completing our Reverse Calendar of Kindness instead of, or even in addition to, this donations-based calendar.
To read about some of the amazing Acts of Christmas Kindness underway in communities across the country, click here. Perhaps you could get involved in your local area?