It’s that time of year again when everyone is busy writing their Christmas lists, (no matter what their age), frantically looking for the right gift for their loved ones.
And, of course, the Christmas charity singles are out and battling for the prestigious Christmas number one title.
But it is also the time of year when people begin to think of those less fortunate.
We live on the outskirts of Scotland’s largest city where 34 per cent of all children are estimated to be living in poverty – that’s over 37,000 children.
Many are homeless or living in temporary accommodation and so they probably have little prospects of receiving presents at Christmas.
This is an opportunity for everyone in our community to make a real difference in the lives of people living in poverty by getting involved in a very worthwhile project.
The Tree of Kindness started last year, where Orchardhill Church partnered with KIND Scotland to help tackle the grave issue of poverty affecting so many people in Scotland by inviting people from our community to give a present to a child or teenager in need so that they will experience the joy of Christmas by receiving a gift.
Lindsay Barr, from Orchardhill Church, said: “It’s sad that we have to do this, but it is also great that the community comes together like this.
“Many families can’t celebrate Christmas or buy their children a gift. It’s appalling that one in three children live in poverty. Last year it captured the enthusiasm of everyone around Orchardhill, organisations using our halls and people in Giffnock just passing by.”
The response exceeded all expectations and, because of their generosity and kindness, over 300 children living in poverty received a gift last Christmas.
And the idea is simple, as Lindsay explains.
He said: “We are asking people in our community to stop by Orchardhill Church and pick up a Tree of Kindness gift tag from the living Christmas tree beside the church tower entrance. The tags will be marked either boy or girl and will have an age on it too.
“They then purchase a suitable gift or toy for the young person on the card and bring it back to Orchardhill Church office so that it can be delivered to charities.
“We are working with KindScotland to deliver presents. We live in an affluent part of East Renfrewshire and it’s great to give something back and just show a little human kindness.”
For further information, visit the Orchardhill Tree of Kindness page
The four steps of kindness
Step 1: Please select a Tree of Kindness gift tag from the tree.
Step 2: Go out and purchase a suitable gift or toy for the young person on the card.
Step 3: Bring your gift back to Orchardhill Church office, with the card attached, so that it can be delivered to a young person in need during the Christmas season.
Step 4: Tell your friends and family about the Tree of Kindness.
Gifts should be returned unwrapped or in a gift bag, with the tag attached, to the Orchardhill Church office during opening hours, 9am-1pm Tuesday to Friday, until December 14.