Would you like to help someone this holiday season, but don't know how?
Sometimes it is enough to simply be present, see the other person and help them with everyday things. Volunteers can handle shopping, help with cleaning or take care of other chores while adhering to the necessary coronavirus safety guidelines. Or we can talk or listen on the phone when someone needs company and support. If you suspect that someone is in need of help, do not hesitate to ask.
At times, the problems can be more complicated, however. Many charity organisations help lonely, homeless and low-income people as well as others in need throughout the year. A portion of the raised funds will be used to cover holiday needs, such as presents or food.
On this page, we have collected traditional and established bodies that convey your help to those who need it this Christmas.
Let this be the Christmas to do something good! Helping and spreading holiday cheer is a great way to boost your own Christmas spirit, too.
The neighbourhood communication platform NappiNaapuri arranges its own Christmas campaign, which encourages neighbours to show their appreciation for each other through small actions that demonstrate the holiday spirit. Remember that you can also ask for help on the platform, should you need it.
You can use NappiNaapuri to organise help between neighbours, gig work and activities related to shared economy, and simply to get to know other people. All are welcome to use the platform! However, persons younger than 13 years of age will need a guardian’s supervision to ensure safety.nappinaapuri.fi/
The Kotimaanapu charity organisation helps all Finnish residents in need, regardless of ethnicity, religion or political views. You can make cash donations through the organisation. The local aid arranged with the donations is provided through Evangelical Lutheran of Finland parishes. The aid is delivered to people's homes directly by diaconal workers.
The Joulupuu fundraiser is organised by JCI Central Park in cooperation with the City of Helsinki Department of Social Services and Health Care. JCI Central Park is responsible for organising the fundraiser, and the Department of Social Services and Health Care delivers the presents to the recipients. Private individuals and businesses can both participate in the fundraiser. The aim of the charity drive is to collect presents for children who are clients of child welfare and special support services and may not have the opportunity to receive any Christmas presents. Helsinki’s child welfare authorities currently serve roughly 7,400 children and young people. The presents are delivered to the recipients through trustworthy bodies, such as the city’s social welfare services.
No Fixed Abode – VVA RY
No Fixed Abode operates in the third sector, supervising the interests of the homeless. The organisation seeks to influence the situation of each homeless person on a personal level and legislation on a social level. No Fixed Abode is a national organisation that mainly operates in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, where the majority of homeless people in Finland are located. The organisation’s goal is to arrange an acceptable place to live for everyone in need within a reasonable time frame. Donated funds are used to organise direct low-threshold aid and activities at residential units.
Hope – Yhdessä & Yhteisesti association
The Hope – Yhdessä & Yhteisesti association was established in 2009 to provide all children with more equal opportunities in day-to-day life. Hope is an organisation that operates across Finland through 20 separate local operators and has no political or religious ties. You can help in a variety of ways through Hope by participating in volunteer work, donating goods or money, or joining as a member, for example. Companies can also help families with children through Hope in many ways.
This year, you can also donate a hobby through Hope. In a family with financial difficulties, children and adolescents may not have the opportunity to take up any hobbies at all. Supporting a hobby is a concrete gift that will provide joy throughout the year.
Salvation Army: Christmas Kettle
Christmas Kettle is the Salvation Army’s annual fundraising campaign to assist those of limited financial means. The kettles on the streets have been a symbol of help and assistance throughout most of the Salvation Army’s 130-year history. As such, they have become an essential and visible part of Finnish Christmas traditions. The funds gained through the Christmas Kettle campaign are conveyed to disadvantaged families with children, others in need or those at risk of social exclusion. It is distributed through Salvation Army offices throughout Finland in the form of food, clothing and gift cards. The funds are also used to organise a variety of support measures, such as camps, hobby activities and clubs. Some of the funds are distributed before Christmas and some over the course of the following year. All proceeds from the Christmas Kettle campaign go to domestic recipients.
FRC: Hyvä Joulumieli fundraiser
The Hyvä Joulumieli fundraiser lasts from 19 November 2020 to Christmas Eve. The donations go towards providing financially disadvantaged families with gift cards they can use to buy food for the holidays.
In 2020, the goal of the Hyvä Joulumieli campaign is to raise more than one million euros. The funds will be used to donate 21,000 €50 food gift cards to financially disadvantaged families with children. The gift cards will be distributed to families that are suffering from financial difficulties due to unemployment, lay-offs, illness, low income level or other crisis. It is not possible to apply for a gift card, as they are handed out as gifts. The local associations and branches of the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare and the Finnish Red Cross collaborate with local social services, diaconal organisations and child health clinics to find families in need.
The fundraising campaign is arranged by the aforementioned organisations in cooperation with the Finnish public broadcaster Yle.
HelsinkiMissio’s Christmas fundraising
As many as 400,000 people in Finland suffer from loneliness intermittently or continuously. Loneliness impairs health and invites other problems, such as poverty and social deprivation. The coronavirus year has increased loneliness and given rise to more problems arising from it.
HelsinkiMissio is a politically and religiously independent association active in the social sector, with a vision of leaving no-one alone in the city. Training and coordinating thousands of volunteers, HelsinkiMissio offers professional crisis support and opportunities to talk. The volunteers multiply the efforts to help among other things by working as support persons for lonely people, serving as on-call personnel at the helpline or helping with individual chores.
Christmas fundraising to combat loneliness among seniors and young people. Funds are needed to ensure the continuity of assistance and to respond to the increased need for help during the coronavirus period.
Photo: Jussi Hellsten/Helsinki Marketing