Creating Christmas Dinner for Care Leavers in Birmingham by Jackie Mccartney

It all started with…….. a Private Message asking did I want to help with organising a Birmingham Christmas Dinner.   

Two weeks later 5 of us met in a room in Tipton, we spoke about how we should do this, (following the guidelines), we spoke about money, venue, gifts, decorations, transport, etc, and decided even if it was in our own home we would pull it off.    At this point we became a team of 4. So the plan was put in place:

  • Crowdfunder set up because money would open doors.
  • Facebook and Twitter set up as Brum Xmas Dinner.

Our journey had started!!   Once in the public arena offers of help and support came in:

  • Venue – WOW what a place.
  • A firm of Solicitors offering their offices for meetings and helping with financial support.
  • More people joined us on the Steering Group.
  • Food was sorted as the venue offered to do this for us – one less worry!
  • Gift list was organised and set up with Crowdfunder, both doing great.

Now with the build up, Christmas Eve to wrap gifts and decorate the venue (which is always a secret until the day as it is part of the surprise); Transport to bring each guest to the venue.

At times it felt that we did not have enough money, gifts, time, or volunteers but the gifts were being bought off our list; the Crowdfunder was bringing in money; Friends donating wrapping paper, sellotape; a place to meet and wrap gifts.   A friend’s daughter made salt dough Christmas tree decorations and sold them for she had set her mind to pay for one dinner but in the end, as a 9 year old child, she raised enough money for seventeen dinners.

The love, warmth, passion and kindness people showed was truly amazing and heart-warming.

The Day arrived, the taxis lined up dropping off guests.   It was so amazing to see all the hours, days and hard work had paid off – everyone together on Christmas Day.

Comments about the day:

  • Spectacular, amazing venue
  • Is this really for us?
  • Overwhelmed with the gifts and even the feeling that the day was enough without the generosity of superb gifts.

What’s so amazing is that no one is paid to do this, it is all through love, kindness and warmth.   The time, compassion, money, gifts, venue and transport were all given with the dream of making memories for all to last forever and connections formed so that everyone could feel what Christmas could be and no one is going into the future alone.

Finally, because it was so heart-warming and restored my faith in human kindness and love we are doing it all again … roll on Year 3 in Birmingham.


    1. Edward says:

      this is a reply

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