Can you believe it’s been over six months since we opened the last window on our Advent of Change calendar? Us neither – especially as we’re busy working on our products for Christmas 2019 (watch this space)!
We thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on our first ever product, the Advent of Change calendar, and the difference your donations have been making to the 24 charities, and those they support.
You may remember that, in our first year, we raised almost £100,000 for charity. We were completely overwhelmed by the response to our charitable twist on the advent calendar, and it has been so wonderful to hear from the 24 charities, in their words, how your donations have been making a difference to lives across the world. After all, our calendar itself focused not on the £1 donation, but what difference the money could actually make!
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be posting a selection of charities, and where your amazing donations have been going – starting with Winston’s Wish, Shivia, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Road Victims Trust, Crisis and Willow.
“The support from Advent of Change was enough to provide 257 children with their very own memory box. These beautiful boxes are used to store treasured objects, helping children to remember their loved one in a way that is personal to them. This is a priceless gift to provide a grieving child and just one reason why we’re so incredibly grateful for the support of Advent of Change!”
“Due to the funds that Advent of Change enabled, Shivia can provide the equivalent of 275 life-changing poultry toolkits to extremely poor women in West Bengal, India. With these kits and training, the women can start and run a poultry enterprise from home. They gain dignity, confidence, respect and additional income which they invariably spend on their children offering them a brighter future than they themselves had.
“Thank you to Advent of Change for selecting Shivia to be part of this brilliant initiative. By joining hands, we are all able to help the lives of people who, in this day and age, shouldn’t be living the way they are. Advent and Christmas are times of giving and, through your innovative approach to generosity, great things have and will be achieved. We are delighted and so grateful to be part of it”.
ABF The Soldiers' Charity
“Thanks to your Advent of Change purchase, we were able to give an incredible gift of over £4,000 to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity to support soldiers, veterans and their immediate families.
“With your support, The Soldiers’ Charity makes life-changing grants to people like Joseph, a sprightly World War Two veteran from Glasgow. In 1944, Joseph served as a Trooper with the 15th (Scottish) Reconnaissance Regiment, seeing frontline action during the Battle of Normandy. Now in his nineties, Joseph struggles with limited mobility and relies on an electric scooter to get around. Joseph was living in a terraced row with a raised forecourt, meaning he had to negotiate four steps onto the pavement and store his car and scooter several streets away.
“For Joseph, the walk was becoming increasingly treacherous – especially in winter. After receiving a request to help, The Soldiers’ Charity stepped in with a grant for a new tarmac driveway, enabling Joseph to park his car and mobility scooter outside his front door. This has transformed his quality of life, meaning he can continue living with the independence and dignity he deserves. Reflecting on the grant, Joseph said: “I appreciate the fact that I left the Army all those years ago and still I get help from The Soldiers’ Charity as if it was yesterday.””
The Road Victims Trust
“The partnership with Advent of Change has made a significant difference to the Road Victims Trust and those we support. The monies raised have part-funded a promotional film, that in-turn has galvanised support for the work we do. Each year we support in excess of 500 people whose lives have been devastated by a road death. This support is only possible due to the generosity and insight of many people, and we are proud to work alongside Advent of Change!”
“Advent of Change has helped Crisis take another step on our journey to make homelessness a thing of the past: thank you, Advent of Change, for helping our guests find safety, companionship and essential support services at our Christmas centres in December 2018”.
“Willow relies entirely on the generosity of people like Kristina and Advent of Change to support young adults living with a range of life-threatening conditions. Thanks to Advent of Change, Willow, now in its 20th year, can continue to provide precious Special Days that are offering so many young adults light at the end of the tunnel at a time when they are experiencing the devastating impact of diagnosis and treatment. Thank you.”
Willow also provided Sonia and Rachael’s stories, to illustrate the impact your donations can have:
Sonia: “My husband and I were expecting our second baby when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Our baby had to be induced four weeks early so that I could begin chemo. Since she was born, I've had surgery and radiotherapy, as well starting hormone therapy. We wanted a break from everything to enjoy being a family together. We wanted to do something completely outside of the world of cancer and take the time to step back. We wanted to be refreshed. After my Special Day, I'm starting to feel like a normal human being again.”
Rachael: “Chemotherapy changed everything for me and my family. My constant treatment meant that I couldn’t look after my children a lot of the time, but I was lucky enough to have amazing support. Knowing that we had something planned was a huge boost for everyone. Just thinking about our Special Day really motivated me to keep going, especially during the tougher days. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to Willow for enabling us all to have such an amazing time together.”