Social Bite’s Festival of Kindness launches with aim of providing 250,000 meals and essential items to homeless this Christmas

Social Bite’s Festival of Kindness has launched in St Andrew Square and in a bid to spread some much-needed festive goodwill and kindness, the charity is asking people to donate meals, gifts and accommodation for those who need it most this Christmas.

By Caitlyn Dewar
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 4:45 pm

Following the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, homeless and vulnerable people need help and support more than ever and Social Bite has set a target of providing 250,000 meals and essential items over the winter months.

Social Bite, with the support of Essential Edinburgh, has installed a 10-metre-tall Christmas trees in St Andrew Square.

The charity is asking people to buy one extra gift, drop it under the tree and has created a gift wish list of the things homeless and vulnerable people need the most.

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Social Bite Founder Josh Littlejohn MBE in Edinburgh has launched Festival of Kindness to provide 250,000 meals and essential items to homeless people this Christmas

Passers-by can drop their gifts at the tree and take in the Christmas lights in St Andrew Square Winter Garden.

All gifts will then be distributed by Social Bite’s dedicated team in time for Christmas.

Monetary contributions can also be made at donation points across the cities or online.

Social Bite distributed over 815,000 food packs and essential items to vulnerable people since the pandemic began in Scotland and the charity is hoping to bring this number to over one million items distributed to those who need them.

Social Bite have created a gift wishlist for the Festival of Kindness

Social Bite co-founder and CEO, Josh Littlejohn MBE, said: “I would like to encourage everyone to make a financial donation or come and drop a gift at our dedicated Christmas trees in Edinburgh and Glasgow and we will get them to those who need them most. Even the smallest of gifts, like a warm pair of socks or hot water bottle, will make a huge difference and we feel truly passionate that everyone deserves some sort of gift this Christmas."

Roddy Smith, CEO of Essential Edinburgh Business Improvement District, said: “The past eight months have been incredibly difficult for everyone and left many families and individuals in need of support.

“We would like to encourage all our locals to pop into the city centre, select a gift from the wish-list at one of our fantastic retailers and leave it at the tree of kindness in St Andrew Square Garden. This small act of kindness will make such a difference to some of our most vulnerable citizens, a little kindness goes a long way.”

Edinburgh-based start-up Brighter Than My Future (BTMF) was formed during lockdown by local women Ashleigh Gray and Sophie Gorol, who have fashion and business backgrounds.

Ashleigh Gray and Sophie Gorol's clothing brand BTMF are supporting the Festival of Kindness by donating thermal hats for each beanie they sell

Through the initiative anyone who purchases one of their beanie hats will also be doing good as the company will donate a thermal hat to the Social Bite project.

Those who have already purchased a hat but still wish to make a donation can do so by contacting BTMF to donate £5.

Ashleigh said: “It’s the worst time of year for anyone to experience homelessness so we wanted to do something to give back and would benefit those in need, that’s why we are donating thermal hats.”

The BTMF ‘Hat for Hat’ purchases can be made on their website.

The Festival’s ‘Trees of Kindness’ will be installed in St Andrew Square from November 26 to December 23.

To find out more or donate, please visit the Social Bite website.

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