A “tree of kindness” has been set up in Dundee’s City Square, in a bid to provide 300,000 gifts and meals to homeless people this Christmas.
The 10-metre tree was set up by charity Social Bite for locals to leave a spare gift under the tree while shopping for loved ones.
Social Bite will be accepting gifts until December 23, with every item being distributed to vulnerable people.
They will also be accepting money donations, including the option to buy someone a Christmas dinner.
300,000 gifts and meals
The charity set up similar trees in Glasgow and Edinburgh last year, however they have expanded to include Dundee, Aberdeen and London.
Chief executive and founder Josh Littlejohn said: “We’re trying to distribute 300,000 gifts and meals around all the cities.
“Hopefully we get lots of goodwill and support in Dundee, and we can make a big difference for people here.
“Last year we distributed 250,000 meals and essential items so we want to up it this year.”
Social Bite is hoping to collect gifts, essential items, meals and cash donations for vulnerable people in the area.
Josh added: “Most of us are very conscious that we’ll be in nice warm houses with our families having a big Christmas dinner and a lot of people won’t be able to do that.
“So hopefully when people are shopping in the Overgate or around Dundee, they buy one extra gift and leave it at the tree.
“It’s quite a nice way to kind of teach kids the spirit of Christmas as well.
“We’ve published a wish list, so it ranges from things like hats and gloves and winter jackets – things for people that are homeless and might be braving the elements.
“But also there’s things like children’s toys and women’s beauty products and more.
“There will be children waking up in temporary accommodation and it’s important to give them something to open on Christmas day.”
Spirit of Christmas
The charity has partnered with a number of local organisations to make sure less fortunate Dundonians get what they really need.
Josh added: “We listed these ideas because we canvassed the opinions of around 99 partner charities in Dundee and we asked them to tell us the things that would help people in the area.
“We’re encouraging quite a wide range of different items, so people donating have that tangible idea that what they’re bought will go directly towards helping someone in need.”
Social Bite decided to expand to other cities after the success of last year’s Trees of Kindness in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Josh said: “Last year there was 10,000 physical gifts donated and about £1.5 million pounds.
“We were met with amazing generosity last year, so we thought we’d try and expand to more cities – which brought us to Dundee.
“There’s a QR code to donate money or meals for homeless people. We’re also raising money for emergency shelter and other kinds of interventions around rough sleeping.”
The charity has also partnered with local social organisation We Are With You which works with homeless people and people with addiction problems.
The Tree of Kindness will be open in Dundee City Square Monday to Wednesday 10am until 2pm and Thursday to Sunday 10am until 7pm.