Giving a homeless child a Christmas to remember

Help spread some cheer this Christmas.
Help spread some cheer this Christmas.

A social media campaign which offers people the chance to buy presents for homeless children at Christmas has launched.

Now in its fifth year, ‘Social Media Santa’ in partnership with housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland has raised thousands of gifts for homeless children in Scotland via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The charity says that 5,224 children will be homeless this Christmas across Scotland.

Social Media Santa is the idea of Ross McCulloch, director of Third Sector Lab, a specialist digital agency working with charities and social enterprises.

Ross said: “It’s great news that Social Media Santa is running for its fifth year in a row to give Twitter users the chance to make a real difference to homeless children in Scotland this Christmas. By sending gifts like books, toys or games, we are hoping that Social Media Santas will help make this Christmas better for hundreds of children and their families across Scotland.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Social Media Santa has proved to be a big hit with social media users who want to help bring some Christmas cheer to homeless families and their children in Scotland.

“No child should be homeless at Christmas but we know there will be more than 5,000 children homeless this festive season across Scotland, so we will carry on our campaigning until there’s a home for everyone. Until then, we will always be grateful for the kindness and generosity of fundraisers and members of the public who donate to help our clients.

“On behalf of all the children and families already helped, we say a big thank you to Ross McCulloch and all the Social Media Santas across Scotland. We now look forward to receiving and distributing the gifts generated by this year’s campaign.”

Kind-hearted social media users are urged to buy presents suitable for boys and girls from six months to 16 years old and either post them or have them delivered directly to Social Media Santa, Shelter Scotland Edinburgh Community Hub. People are asked not to gift wrap their presents in order to help identify appropriate gifts in terms of age.

Everyone who buys a gift is encouraged to post a photo of it on social media using the hashtag #SocialMediaSanta and to tag the Shelter Scotland account (@shelterscotland on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter).

Social Media Santa runs until December 9.