Christmas is the time when we tend to raise the most funds for Sanctuary from the public and so we are keen to make the most of the upcoming season. Last year we had a ‘sock’ appeal where we requested toiletries that we could give to our guests. The response was amazing – in fact we still have 3 large boxes of toothpaste, soap, etc. left over, which we will use over the next 1 or 2 yearsJ
Our greatest need are for ongoing funds – we need to raise over £50,000 in the next 12 months. It’s nice for our guests to receive something tangible but that does present problems as they have little or no room to carry or store physical items. So this year we will have a campaign where people can ‘sponsor’ specific items – a hot meal, a packed lunch, a bed for the night, etc. We have worked out the rough cost of these items which people can then ‘buy’.
The way we plan to do this is by having a Christmas ‘giving’ tree that will be covered in tags that represent each of these essential items, which people can then purchase by putting the cost amount into a collection box. They can then take the tag away with them as a reminder of what they have done for our guests.
Among other plans, after seeking consent from the council we usually have a stand in Gravesend Town centre on two Saturdays in December (dates await). We can operate all day between 8am and 8pm, but more realistically we will probably run between 9am to 5 pm. As well as ‘selling’ Christmas tags, we will also be giving out leaflets on our work and will be trying to sign up more volunteers and regular givers.
If you are in the town on those Saturday’s, do come over and say ‘hello’.