In the midst of the national rush to finish festive shopping and deliver Christmas cards, a small band of big-hearted women were busy packing and wrapping more than 200 handbags to give to those who might not have got any other presents this year.
WomanKind Clydesdale packed the handbags, donated from all over the area, with toiletries and treats and then wrapped them with a gift card saying ‘from one woman to another, merry Christmas’.
The handbags were then distributed through food banks across Clydesdale, Hamilton, Peebles and Penicuik and to Healthy Valleys, a local homeless unit and through Migrant Aid supporting Scottish refugees.
WomanKind Clydesdale started its unique Handbags for Christmas Appeal last year and was amazed by the response.
Jan Currie said: “We had such a generous response last year, with 140 bags donated, that we were not sure we would get any more donations, but we have been truly overwhelmed by the generosity of the community.
“Every day, I would come home to more bags and toiletries hanging at my door.
“And the teams of ladies working to pack and then wrap the handbags have been brilliant. It was like Santa’s elves’ production line.
“It truly shows that there is a real awareness of the poverty that exists within our own communities.”
Another team made up packs of recycled crayons paired with colouring books. These wee gifts are then distributed through food banks to spread a bit of cheer.
This December marks the first anniversary of WomanKind Clydesdale, formed by women uncomfortable about the rise in referrals to local food banks and determined to do something about it.
“Small acts of kindness are what we’re about” says Jan.
“No matter how overwhelming these social issues may seem, we really can all do something to make a difference, so to those who have donated handbags or crayons, we thank you for your act of kindness this Christmas.”