Christmas can be a very sad and lonely time for many. For those who have so little it can be hard to find and joy or sparkle during the festive season.
The Luke’s Santa’s Hampers were originally started by Anne Bolton about 7 years ago. After Operation Rudolph stopped, she carried on her own version at St Lukes. Anne took on the huge task, largely on her own, sourcing, buying and storing all of the goods to make up many boxes and bags to give to families at the Refugee partnership and clients of the New Hope Trust. After Anne moved away, we have tried our best to continue this wonderful generous act of giving that she began.
Last year we had to scale the project down due to covid but this year we are planning to go big again.
The New Hope Trust has asked us for 48 bags for the homeless men of Watford and 12 for women.
Each drawstring sports bag is carefully packed by our wonderful 12th Watford Brownies (under our watchful eyes)! Items include warm woolly hats, gloves, scarves, chocolate, mince pies and other food goodies and some sanitary products.
The Watford Refugee Partnership has asked if we could please donate boxes of Christmas goodies to 20 of the families they support. These will include lots of food items we know that families will love and items such as stationery and games for the children to hopefully bring some Christmas cheer.
All of this will be sourced and packed by a small team of St Luke’s volunteers who endeavour to find quality products at competitive prices.
Each bag and box includes a Christmas card written by our church members offering blessing and well wishes.
It is not an easy task to source so many different products, often going back many times to make sure we have the right amount of each item. Finding space at home to store it all until packing day can also be tricky!
However, at a time of year that can be so much about ourselves, our own families and all the things that they would like, it is refreshing to focus on preparing gifts for locals who may receive so little.
I try to involve my children in the Santa’s Hampers project as much as possible and tomorrow we will be in Primark counting out 60 pairs of gloves and hats. Every year they come and help unload everything and then carefully pack it all ready to be distributed. It has definitely shown them how much more enjoyable it is to give than to receive.
I know how difficult these times are financially for everyone and that we are being asked to give to so many worthy causes. However, if you are able to donate to this fantastic cause, we can really make a difference to refugee families and the homeless in our home town this Christmas time. Please clearly make any donations to ST LUKE’S SANTA HAMPERS.
Christmas Blessings to all of our lovely St Luke’s Church family!
Caroline Tearle & the Santa’s Hampers Team