This year, Amazon teams across the country have been pulling out all the stops to provide charities and communities with support during the festive period.
From funding ‘Kidsmas parties’ with Barnardo’s, to an Amazon executive releasing a Christmas song with his family to help raise funds for Magic Breakfast, our teams have been determined to deliver smiles this Christmas.
A merry ‘Kidsmas’
Amazon has teamed up with Barnardo’s again this year and provided £50,000 in donations to fund ‘Kidsmas parties’ for over 1,400 vulnerable children at Barnardo’s children’s services in close proximity to our fulfilment centres. Kidsmas parties are an excellent way to include vulnerable children in the festive fun and help spread the Christmas spirit far and wide.
Funding emergency accommodation for young people with DePaul
Christmas can be a difficult time for those facing homelessness this winter, that’s why Amazon have donated £25,000 to DePaul to provide a package of emergency support.
Our support will fund emergency accommodation for 300 young people in total via DePaul’s NightStop service. This service makes it possible for a young person to stay in the home of a trained volunteer or at emergency hotel accommodation.
Recruiting much needed volunteers
Due to an increased demand caused by COVID-19, more Home-Start volunteers are needed for the charity to continue supporting families in need across the UK.
Amazon have donated £25,000 to support the volunteer recruitment drive to provide resources for families and ensure they have the support they need. Our grants will also cover the increased cost of running Home-Start locations during what is a difficult time for many service users. This funding will provide lasting support for over 380 families.
Helping local foodbanks
Amazon Logistics employees have set up donation drives for local foodbanks near Amazon sites.
Our community ambassador network was able to collaborate with local foodbanks to identify the most needed items and ensure their needs were met. Fifty-two sites hosted a collection point on site allowing associates to donate most needed items to their local foodbank.
To date, over 6,000 items of non-perishable food, clothes and toys have been donated to people in need this festive period. In addition to the product donations, Amazon also donated £500 to every local foodbank to address their immediate needs during the holiday season.
A very #Merky Christmas
Amazon’s Black Employee Network (BEN) supported #MerkyFoundation’s first ever Christmas event at Farfield Halls in Croydon earlier this month.
The charity, founded by Black British musician Stormzy, provides funding to organisations and movements that are committed to addressing racial inequality in the UK. The event was an opportunity for the local community to enjoy an evening of festive fun, games, performances, workshops and be in with a chance to win some very special prizes in the run up to Christmas.
Amazon and the Black Employee Network have committed to donate £10,000 to the production of the Christmas party and BEN members volunteered to help set up the venue and facilitate various initiatives like meet and greets with VIP guests like Wretch 32 and Ray BLK, packing giftbags for the children and co-ordinating the prizes for the raffle. The Amazon Devices team also donated Kindle devices which were included in the prize raffle.
A festive Christmas singalong
Each year for the last 16 years, Amazon Global Communications Director for Operations, Stu Jackson, and his family have written and recorded a Christmas song, giving it out on CD to friends and family as their “musical Christmas card”.
Now the family – known as “The Screaming Jacksons” - have made the songs available to stream across various music platforms, including Amazon Music and they are donating every penny earned from their streams and downloads to charities across the world.
This year’s new single “Oh Christmas Bells”, has been gifted to Amazon's longstanding charity partner, Magic Breakfast, meaning that every time someone streams the song, the charity will receive a donation, enabling them to reach more children at risk of hunger.
Last year, Stu and his family raised more than £2,000 from the streams – with people listening from right across the world.
“We’re excited to raise money for Magic Breakfast with our Christmas song this year” say Stuart, adding that “I’ve done some work with them in my Amazon job and it’s great to provide some additional support. I want to encourage everyone to listen, join in the fun and share with their friends and family - our goal with the song this year is to raise enough money so kids don’t go hungry this Christmas”
The family have also set up a Just Giving page if you want to donate directly.
Shine a Light grants for ‘right now needs’
This festive season, Amazon employees were able to nominate charity organisations close to their site to receive a £1,000 cash grant from a £120,000 central fund. These grants will go to charities addressing ‘right now needs’ in their community.
Around 120 charities have been supported with the Shine A Light grants, many expressed the importance of these to their ongoing operations:
Lesley Ann Muirhead, Supporter Participation Manager at Aberlour
“Aberlour are determined to support children in Scotland for as long as it takes because every child should have an opportunity to thrive and have hopes for a better future. On behalf of the children and families we’ll be able to help, and from all of us at Aberlour, thank you once again for choosing us and for your support. It really, truly does make a difference.”
Craig Wheatley, Chairman at Doorways Derby
“Thank you to all that have donated to Doorways Derby. This will enable us to continue supporting people/families that are struggling putting food on the table in these most unprecedented times.”
Sona Sharma, Partnership & Fundraising Manager at Skylarks Charity
“Thank you so much from all of us at Skylarks, the funds will directly help to make young people who have disabilities feel less isolated and positively engaged.”
Find out more about the work that Amazon does for local communities