Before half-term, we launched this year’s Christmas hamper collections. Giving plays a huge role in who we are as a school community; giving to those less fortunate than ourselves means we live out our SJB values of service, integrity and love. Every year our school supports and helps local charities by creating Christmas hamper gifts for those in need. The students at SJB get involved by bringing in items from home to go into their form group Christmas hampers to make a difference to people within our community.
This year, more than ever, those we collect for need our help. The charities we have contacted have been extra grateful for our help as they are all struggling due to the cost-of-living crisis. Last year, the SJB community was incredibly generous, but we are aware that for some in our school community, times are hard, and so we are grateful for anything that you can give. I am writing to you to ask you to please encourage your children to support our school in making Christmas special for those less fortunate than ourselves. The Christmas hampers will be collected during the first week of December, from Monday 4 to Friday 8 December.
Below are the items we are collecting within each year group:
- Year 7 students are collecting new toys and gifts suitable for children aged 0–17 at St Peter’s Hospital. These items need to be new, in the original packaging and not wrapped, so that the hospital can easily check the suitability of age and gender.
- Year 8 students are kindly creating hampers suitable to be delivered to Kingsleigh Care Home in Woking to raise the spirits of the elderly and people diagnosed with dementia during Christmas. We are asking for items that will brighten up their accommodation, give them entertainment, help with memories such as picture frames and books of local history, as well as fun and luxury items to make Christmas special for them.
- Year 9 students are collecting everyday and luxury food, drink and Christmas-related items to gift to families supported through food banks and the local charity SVP. These items need to be non-perishable and in date over the Christmas period to make these families’ meals special. Some form groups have added extra items to their food hampers such as crackers, Advent calendars, cooking utensils and pans, and Christmas napkins.
- Year 10 students are collecting winter-warming, sanitary and chocolate gifts for families supported through the Lighthouse in Woking. These are families and individuals who cannot afford to keep themselves warm and are unable to afford Christmas gifts for their children. Please contribute items such as hot water bottles, fluffy socks, onesies, slippers, dressing gowns, blankets, hat and scarf sets, and any sanitary products as well as chocolate assortment boxes to be handed out over Christmas.
- Year 11 students are creating hampers to give to those helped through the charity Catch 22. Some of the people supported by this charity are sadly homeless, most of them have no one, or are housed in temporary accommodation. The gifts our school gives to these people are often their only gifts at Christmas. Hats and gloves, flasks, books, blankets, thermals, hand-warmers, socks and toiletries will be gratefully received.
- Years 12 and 13 are gifting their hampers to those helped through the charity Pound House. Please ask your son/daughter to bring in gifts suitable for young adults aged 16–23 who have very little. These young people have recently come out of the care system or are now refugees who have ceased to receive government support and are placed in temporary housing for a maximum of two years. Your gift is likely to be their only Christmas present this year.
This year, to save on wasting wrapping paper and being considerate to our environment, we are asking form groups to produce their hampers inside something that can be reused. This could be a lovely bag for life, basket, gift bag or a storage box that can serve a practical purpose afterwards. Previously, those in Year 11 collecting for Catch 22 have presented their gifts inside rucksacks for the homeless.
Thank you for supporting our Christmas hampers and making a difference to someone else this Christmas. Any questions, please email Mr Baidya at email@example.com.