THE GIFT OF GIVING  

This Christmas, Harris Lamb is pledging its support to Birmingham Christmas Shelter to help ensure that the homeless, vulnerable and lonely people of the city can enjoy the festive season.
 Having been operating for more than 30 years, Birmingham Christmas Shelter became a registered charity in 1991, and provides its guests with companionship, food, warmth and entertainment at a time when many other shelters and facilities are closed.
 The Harris Lamb team first became involved in 2016, led by senior finance manager Louise Whitehouse, who rallied her colleagues to help pull together boxes of food, toiletries, clothes and gifts to donate to the shelter.
Louise said: “Birmingham Christmas Shelter is a very valuable resource and one that we think is important to both support and to raise local awareness of.
“It opens throughout Christmas week 24 hours a day, and provides not just warmth, shelter and food for its guests, but also companionship and entertainment, enabling people to enjoy a safe Christmas in the company of others. The shelter welcomes up to 150 people a day, serving three meals daily plus hot drinks and sandwiches, and providing washing facilities and clothing.
“Last year, a number of us were involved in overseeing collections and overseeing the donations, and we found it a very humbling experience – it’s a very small gesture to make to ensure that hundreds of people are safe, warm, fed and not alone at this time of the year, and this year we hope to encourage others to take a little time to donate financially to the shelter or to organise their own collections to contribute to Christmas there,” she added.
There are plenty of ways to support the BCS team,. While all the volunteer positions for this year have been filled, people can help by donating food, clothing, gifts, prizes or toiletries, making a financial contribution or providing services to enhance guests’ time at the shelter.
 
Image credit: CatLane/iStock
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