Ready to play Santa? Spread some Christmas cheer for a good cause
Support the cause of your choice and bring a smile to those who could do with some Christmas cheer
Spend precious time
In the rushed lives we lead today, time is more difficult to part with than money. Make a difference this Sunday by joining hands with Aasma – The Vibrant Youth, a platform for those who wish to bring about a change in society. While the organisation's activities are often geared towards visiting old-age homes, taking underprivileged children out for a meal and creating awareness about the environment, this time, the organisers have decided to give the gift of time to the Vatsalya Foundation, which works with street children in Mumbai. "The idea is to have a memorable Christmas Eve. We will play music for the kids, dance and organise games for them," says founder Pranay Shinde.
ON: December 24, 9.30 am to 12 noon
AT: Anand Niketan, King George V Memorial, Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi.
Show some animal love
While housing societies keep making it difficult to tend to pets, let alone feed strays, an entire army of good Samaritans work tirelessly in Mumbai to care for its four-legged residents. "What's fascinating is these feeders often come from truly humble backgrounds. And yet, they work day in and day out, showing what kindness is all about," says Charu Khosla, co-founder, Cat Café Studio. The café has launched a campaign through which you can drop kibble bags that will be distributed among feeders across the city to ensure they don't run out of food for animals. You can contribute with money, too.
AT: 63, Harminder Singh Road, Aram Nagar, Versova.
Take to the streets
Even as Mumbai dons a festive look, for many of its children who live on the streets or in slums, Christmas is like any other challenge-filled day. Begin your celebrations by volunteering for the 100 Santas Project, an initiative by Sounds of Silence that works with hearing-impaired children. "We hope to rope in 100 volunteers to play Santas, where one Santa would give gifts to 100 children each, the aim being to bring a smile to 10,000 faces," says project coordinator Prerna Tirodkar. If you can't devote time, you can pitch in with non-perishable items or funds for gifts.
ON: December 24 (Volunteer meet, 10 am; gift distribution, 4 pm)
AT: CATKing Andheri, Old Nagardas Road, Andheri East (volunteer meet); Carter Road promenade, Bandra West (gift distribution)
A gift becomes more precious when it grants a wish. When Mukesh Rawat and Shaalinni Chandnani, owners of a surprise party and entertainment service, visited Sneha Sadan Children's Home in Gorai, they decided to ask its 17 residents, girls aged between six and 21 years, what they wanted for Christmas. "They almost unanimously answered that they would love to wear gowns to the Christmas Mass, with nice shoes to go with them.
While the children often get stationery and other such essential supplies, they are seldom indulged," says Rawat, who went ahead and got the dresses stitched in their favourite colours. If you wish to be a part of the cause, join Rawat when he dresses up as Santa Claus and delivers the gifts on Christmas Eve, or pitch in monetarily, but not without writing a personalised letter, addressed to one of the kids.
ON: December 24, 4 pm to 9 pm
AT: House no. 16, Shalome, near Sacred Heart Church, Culvem, Gorai.
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A walk through Mohammed Ali Road's Khau Galli