Launched two years ago by Hayley Wheeler from the University of Portsmouth, the Reverse Advent Calendar collection sees parcel drop-off points across the city accepting more and more donations for those in need.
Hayley said: ‘We are starting to think about Christmas and we want to make a difference to people who face winter alone, on the streets or have to make the choice between heating and eating at this time of year.
‘Winter is a really tough time for people living in poverty.’
People are encouraged to grab a box and start a collection with colleagues, families and friends to give something back instead of opening a door to a chocolate calendar.
‘This is a fabulous way to really celebrate the meaning of the festive season by giving instead of receiving,’ said Hayley.
‘Many people will be alone this Christmas and would really appreciate a little something.’
Suggested items for donation include non-perishable food items such as tea, coffee, UHT milk, biscuits, chocolates, rice, pasta, tuna, beans, crisps, custard, porridge, tinned fruit, jam, squash, toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, tissues, sanitary towels, tampons, toothpaste, shower gel, soap and clothing like scarves, hats, gloves, socks and pants.
Donations will go to the homeless charity ReFIt which supports the homeless and those in recovery, as well as supporting the British Red Cross in Portsmouth with its Home from Hospital service and refugee support services.
To make it easier, there will be handy drop points across the city to take donations to be distributed to those in need in time for Christmas and the cold months of January and February.
Drop off points are at Santander Bank in Commercial Road and the Cosham branch, Gunwharf Quays Visitor Centre Tesco Express Car Park Office, The Red Cross Portsmouth in Commercial Road, the Global Office at the University of Portsmouth in St Michael’s Road and Pompey in the Community in Anson Road.
Donations are needed before December 13. Search on Facebook for Reverse Advent Calendar Portsmouth 2019 and get involved, or for more information email [email protected]