Sainsbury’s and Argos launch ‘Help Brighten A Million Christmases’ campaign 

Sainsbury’s and Argos ‘Help Brighten a Million Christmases’ campaign is back. Following its success last year, the initiative is again encouraging one million food and toy donations in stores across the UK from today. 

More than six million adults have admitted to forgetting to donate to charity despite telling others they have done so (40%) – with not having the money (27%) or prioritising other things (29%) coming in as additional reasons.

A study of 1,000 UK adults by Sainsbury’s and Argos found more than one in 10 have told friends and family they have donated a certain amount to charity despite this being untrue and in some cases, they haven’t given at all.

Of these, as many as two-fifths (40%) said they have forgotten to make a donation, while three in 10 said they didn’t have the time, which is why they have misled others. More than one in four (27%) said they couldn’t afford to make a donation, with 31 per cent even confessing to fibbing to show off to another person.

The research was commissioned by Sainsbury’s and Argos who are urgently calling for donations as they launch their biggest ever Christmas charity drive. They also found one in four adults give less to charity than they think they should. However, 95 per cent have donated at some point in their life, giving money, clothing and books for charitable causes.

This comes as nearly half of Brits reveal they feel happy (48%) and one quarter feel proud of themselves (25%) when they donate in some form. More than three in 10 reckon they are more likely to be charitable at Christmas than any other time of year.

It also emerged 85 per cent agreed it’s important to give to good causes – whether that’s in the form of a cash donation, or giving old clothes, toys or food.

Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury’s Brand, said: “If every person shopping at any supermarket this December bought one extra item – be that a can of soup or a roll-on deodorant – over 50 million products could be donated to those in need this festive season.

“We’ll be kicking off donations by giving a basket of priority items in every one of our 2,300 stores today. It’s also worth noting that customers don’t have to shop in Sainsbury’s as we will be welcoming products from any other retailer placed in our collection boxes, so everyone can come together to help Brighten a Million Christmases again this year.”

The study also found a third of the nation (33%) are more likely to make a donation when given a prompt, such as going to a fundraising event or seeing a donation tin at a shop till.

And an equal percentage (33 per cent) would also be more inclined to give to charity if it was easier to.

The ‘Help Brighten a Million Christmases’ campaign is encouraging one million food and toy donations in stores across the UK from today, with the initiative running in partnership with thousands of charities, who will distribute the items to local communities in time for Christmas. To drive further awareness, Sainsbury’s will be providing updated weekly requests from local charities in each region to ensure local food banks receive priority items. 

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found of the parents two-fifths (40%) will have a big clear out of their children’s toys in time for Christmas, where seven in 10 will donate old toys and games to charity.

In fact, 88 per cent of mums and dads actively encourage their little ones to be more generous and give to charity.

And a quarter said their youngsters would be willing to donate a present at Christmas to help those in need.

Sainsbury’s and Argos are asking customers to donate non-perishable food items, toiletries (Sainsbury’s) and new toys for children between the ages of 0-16 (Argos). Shoppers are also being encouraged to share the joy of giving by posting pictures of the items that they have donated online using #ShopForOthers to help build a movement that makes shopping for others as instinctive as shopping for oneself. 

The top 20 items Brits think are important for food banks:

  1. Tinned soup
  2. Pasta
  3. Tinned baked beans
  4. Tinned vegetables
  5. Rice
  6. Tinned fruit
  7. Tea bags
  8. Tinned meat
  9. Tinned fish
  10. Instant coffee
  11. Milk (UHT or powdered)
  12. Pasta sauces
  13. Cooking oil
  14. Fruit juice (long life)
  15. Sugar
  16. Jam
  17. Flour
  18. Cereal bars
  19. Honey
  20. Hot chocolate powder


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