‘Be an Elf’. Christmas Appeal 2020

Last updated: 18/11/2020

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“When I received something from the OPFS Christmas appeal last year it made my family feel included. My daughter felt special that someone else was thinking of her.”

- single parent, Glasgow

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Be an elf. Spread cheer. Make sure every child has a magical Christmas this year.

Christmas should be a time to celebrate with our family and have fun together. But for some single parents and their children, Christmas can be the hardest and loneliest time of the year.

For parents who are struggling with money and who are alone at Christmas, it can be hard to give children the magical day they’re hoping for.

And this year, times are even tougher. Lots of single parent families are feeling more isolated and have lost income because of the pandemic.

That’s why your donations for the One Parent Families Scotland Christmas Appeal are more important than ever before. You can help pay for toys, clothes, and food for Christmas, as well as heating over the festive period.

Things are a bit different this year, so we’re asking you to donate money online. This will help families in Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, and Lanarkshire to enjoy the special Christmas that every child deserves.

Help make a child’s letter to Santa come true. Be An Elf. Spread cheer. Donate now at the button below, or find out about other ways to donate.

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“I start saving a small amount every week as soon as Christmas is over for next Christmas. But this year due to Covid I’ve had lots of other costs trying to keep us happier during lockdown by spending Christmas money on art materials and extra costs of being at home.”

- single parent, Glasgow

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Spread cheer by telling the world why you support single parents

We know loneliness is one of the biggest challenges for single parent families – especially hard at Christmas – so we’re also asking you to share a nice message for single parents and their children.

Single parent families make up one in four families with children in Scotland, but many tell us they still feel stigmatised.

  • Tell us why it’s important to you to support single parent families over the festive season (and year-round).
  • Tell us the positive messages you’d like other single parents and their children to know this Christmas.
  • Whether you’re able to donate financially or not, you can add a comment below or post it on social media and we’ll share it on your social media channels to help spread Christmas cheer throughout December.

Just use the hashtag #BeAnElfSpreadCheer.

Send your message

“Hardest thing is not having someone else to talk to. As much as Christmas can be fun, there are so many expectations and no-one to help or offload to."

- single parent, Glasgow

Christmas appeal video

This year we had help from helpful and talented elves featured in this film explaining what you can do to support our Christmas appeal. Massive thanks to Corra, Bukky, Sophia, Amelie, Ella, Mathew, Eoghan, and Skye.

Related information:

Read some of our single parent stories.

See Public Health Scotland’s paper on child poverty in lone parent households and ‘COVID-19 and lone parent households’.

See our briefing paper on social isolation, loneliness and single parents in Scotland.

Donate by text

You can also text XMASELF to 70085 to donate to the Christmas appeal at the click of your phone screen.

  • To donate £5 text “XMASELF 5”
  • To donate £10 text “XMASELF 10”
  • To donate £20 text “XMASELF 20”

You may be charged your standard network rate on top of the donation amount.


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Amazon Smile

Shopping online on AmazonSmile is a way of raising money for OPFS at no additional cost to you.

This is exactly the same as shopping normally at amazon.co.uk, but each time you buy an eligible product, Amazon donates 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) to a registered charity, at no extra expense to the customer or to the charity.

How to donate to OPFS through AmazonSmile:

  • Go to smile.amazon.co.uk and login using your usual Amazon account details.
  • Choose One Parent Families Scotland from the charity options, before you begin shopping.
  • Do your shopping as usual and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to OPFS.
  • You can also share that you have supported OPFS through AmazonSmile on social media after every purchase and inspire others to do the same.

AmazonSmile is also available to use on the Amazon Mobile App.

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You can also donate direct via Paypal here.