Pass It Forward: Secret Santa Project

Friday 2 November 2012

You've probably noticed a slight difference to today's Pass It Forward post. It's less than 2 months away from Christmas which to some is the most stressful time of the year. I can't help but feel that I'm blessed despite the current economic situation which has affected millions around the world, some more than others. I'm thankful that my family and I, along with my friends are healthy. We have a roof over our heads and plenty of food to eat. We may moan about the constant price increases and feel that we have to tighten our belts but we are not destitute.

While I'm far from being a millionaire. I think it would be wonderful if we could extend a little kindness this Christmas to help those who are less fortunate. There are many who'd lost their job and despite many attempts, have not managed to gain any employment. I spoke to the assistant manager at the homeless shelter here to find out more about the situation in Winchester. Call it naivety or ignorance but it was a wake up call to hear how easy it was to become homeless. Business went bad. Loss of job. Broken relationship. Bad decisions. It all has a knock on effect. It's safe to say that most of us are 3-6 paychecks away from being homeless.

I made a call to our local food bank last week and was shocked by the statistics that was communicated to me by the manager there. The emergency stock which they'd reserved for next year is nearly depleted. Ditto for the shelter for abused women. The number of people who visit the food bank as their last resort is rising incrementally. They've been running off their feet. Most of the patrons are so grateful for whatever they could receive from the food bank. These people have been nominated and qualified by local agencies and churches.

10% of my fees earned from the sales of consigned items and commission from the blog between Oct 20 to Dec 15 will go straight into the Secret Santa Project fund. I will be auctioning a few personal items as well. The aim is to raise £500 but I hope it'll be more. The money will be doled out to the groups and individuals in need anonymously. Hence, why it's called Secret Santa. I'm also constrained by finances and logistics which is why I need your help. Here's how you can help your community.

- Find out from your family, friends, churches, shelters or food banks about the needs in the community.
- Raise money however big or small. I'd love to hear your ideas.
- Qualify every nominated individual or group to ensure that the fund is appropriated to the ones in need.
- Give anonymously
Have you ever received help when you were most in need? I'd love to hear your stories! So, who would like to join me this Christmas and give something back to the community you live in?

**please do contact me directly via email ( if you want to consign any designer items you no longer use.


  1. A few years ago, one of my mum's friends daughters turned 21, and was throwing a party. She told all the guests to not buy her gifts, and instead make a donation to a charity instead. I was touched, impressed by her maturity, and ever since then I've thought I should do the same. Your post is a great reminder to think beyond our own needs!

  2. This is a wonderful post, you have a good heart and good head on your shoulders.

  3. Great post M! I think I will definitely try and help out this Xmas. Will keep you posted! xx

  4. What a lovely and thoughtful post. I shall try to do something but I don't know what yet.

  5. Lovely post Marlene. Diwali is approaching soon and I am looking forward to my annual ritual of giving gifts to those who need it most. Far better way to celebrate than shopping up a storm for friends and family who don't need more stuff.

  6. Marlene I do have to say you are such a kind soul - this is a wonderful and extremely selfless thing to do, and one that many others don't think to get involved doing, even at this time of year. I'm actually starting to put together some things to take down to the Salvation Army, for those who are less fortunate, and probably pick through some of my old toys too x

  7. Wonderful post!!

    Already got started with a Box of Hope (a box of toys/school supplies/other goodies for a needy child) today. SO much better to give than receive.

  8. Fantastic post Marlene! Tis definitely the season for us to reflect and give back. Those statistics are so shocking, yet the reality is far closer than we think. I can imagine how the food bank is strained for resources given this current economic condition. I hope there are more out there like yourself right now raising money for such great causes.

    xx Jenee C.
    {camo meets couture}

  9. that's such a good idea marlene. and the best place to start is within the community!

    we donate regularly (maybe once every two months) to a hospital for terminally ill children, mostly just stuff that would help make their last days bit more fun..

    steph /

  10. Oh my I LOVE your blog!
    Found it by accident whilst lusting after pictures of Hermes Handbags!

    sam xx

    1. Thank you for taking the time to write, Sam! Lovely to see you here.

  11. This is such a worthy cause and definitely something I would like to take part in. Good luck on the fund raising. I hope it is successful! xx

  12. Such a wonderful post. You have such a kind heart for organizing this fund raising!

  13. You are such a thoughtful person. If only the world was filled with more people willing to take part (like you) to all lend a hand to make things a little better. I hope your fund raising brings in a bucket load! We are looking at doing some volunteering at a charity that helps sick kids.

    xx Mandi

  14. How kind of you and what a wonderful initiative to be doing M! We do our own thing here locally each year and fund raise for a few organizations that do great work with veterans and children.

  15. This post really warms the heart. It's so generous of you. It's amazing that Lil L gets to see the generosity of your spirit at such a young age. My parents instilled that in me at a young age and I'm so incredibly thankful for it.

    We are on the boards of a few highly regarded organizations that do amazing work with children and make it a point to volunteer and be very hands on too. Right now, we’re focusing our attention on the effects of the hurricane in the areas that tend to be forgotten when we think of NYC. There’s still so much pain, suffering and just craziness that’s going unreported.

  16. What a generous and thoughtful idea!

  17. Marlene, you have a kind heart..

    My friend volunteers at a Children's home. Every year, she sends out these kids wishlist to us and we will try to fulfil.

    But your post reminds one that actually there's a lot more that one can further do.



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