Why we decided to #DonateDifferently

For Huggard, their aim is quite simple - to help the homeless in Cardiff. Over the past two years, our Charity partnership with Huggard has involved donations at our Entertainment shows, assisting with a new website build and photography, donating a Christmas hamper of winter essentials, and most importantly, helping to raise the profile of Huggard and the work that they do.

As we approach the end of our partnership, we wanted to do something different. What else could we do that would help make a difference, but wouldn’t involve asking people to dig into their pockets?

The lightbulb goes on. Toiletries! We were aware of how important toiletry donations were to Huggard, having arranged an Orchard office collection last Christmas, we thought - why not take it to the public?

Most of us these days don’t really think twice about toiletries. We’re on autopilot. Whether we buy them for ourselves or buy those giftsets for a birthday, or Christmas, we’re all guilty of buying copious amounts of toiletries. None of us really want to admit how much of these toiletries then eventually walk their way to the back of the cupboard, never to see the light of day again.

So, why not put these toiletries to good use? Toiletries like those can make a huge difference to those who need it most. The #DonateDifferently campaign was born.

Richard Edwards, Chief Executive of Huggard said, “It’s important that people know that it’s not only volunteer time and cash donations that support our work - it’s also the little things that we all take for granted. Things like access to facilities, clothing and toiletries.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. The whole ethos of #DonateDifferently was built around this idea – that there are so many people who don’t have access to the most basic human needs. The little things that most of us don’t appreciate having.  So, we wanted to help.

Fast forward to 20th October, a busy Saturday in the centre of Cardiff. With just a branded donation bin and some roll up banners, we got to work in the heart of St David’s shopping centre with the highest of hopes. With our Campaign Ambassador, Capital FM South Wales DJ, Polly James, there to support us and sprinkle her stardust to the campaign, we were blown away with the public response.

By 11 pm we had already filled the first of 3 bin fills. By the end of the day over 3000 units of toiletries had been donated.

We couldn’t be more elated as to how successful the #donatedifferently campaign has been. Using the power of social media to spread the word, the campaign garnered 100’s of likes and shares, resulting in people coming to the centre in droves to donate toiletries to the campaign - from schools to clients to passing public. The campaign has also created an ongoing legacy, which will hopefully see the public continue to donate and support the cause.

You can still help!

If you still wish to #DonateDifferently fear not - you can still help!  You can bring your toiletries to one of two places - The Huggard Café on Dumballs Road, Cardiff, or to Orchard HQ on Trade Street.

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