Earlier this week I put out a tweet asking if any authors in the YA community (Young Adult Literature) would feel able to donate a signed book to a London teenager who would otherwise receive no gifts this Christmas. I have been overwhelmed by the response. Not only books but craft jewellery, skincare, and offers of money.
Understandably, some people have asked where and how their donation would be distributed. Hence this post. The campaign is run by our parish church, St James Garlickhythe here in the City. They liaise with Social Services to direct personal, ground level charity where it is most needed in London. Last year, it was North Kensington, and this year it will be Hackney and Bethnal Green. Gifts for all ages of children are accepted but Rev’d Guy Treweek made a personal appeal for small gifts for teenagers who are often neglected in these campaigns. Cuddly toys and dolls arrive in their droves, but virtually nothing for teens. As some of you may know, I write fiction for teenagers and this appeal resonated. I thought that if any of us felt able to send a personalised gift to someone who will otherwise feel alone on a day when none of us are supposed to feel alone, that would be a good thing.
The church itself benefits in no way from any money or other gift donated. All money given to the campaign is converted to vouchers such as Boots giftcards before the 15th of December. There is no religious weight or obligation attached to the gifts. The church is simply acting as a community conduit. Any donation can be sent to our home address (which I will send to you if you get in touch by email or twitter). They don’t need wrapping, but a little note from you would be really appreciated, even if it’s just Happy Christmas. For those of you who have already donated, I can’t thank you enough.
- Jan van Rymsdyk at The Dittrick Museum
- The Divil’s Cruelty to Mankind: The story of George Gibbs