The end of the year tradition of holiday giving is now in full swing. Why not the gift of ostomy supplies? That's what two dedicated charities in the United Kingdom are doing. #GetYourBellyOut and Hospices of Hope have teamed up to help ostomates in countries that do not have access to supplies in this year's Christmas Appeal.
"The drive behind setting up our Christmas Appeal was that we were keen to do something about the amount of surplus ostomy supplies that end up in the landfill. If we can give these a second home then there's no reason why we shouldn't try!" – #GetYourBellyOut founders
#GetYourBellyOut was founded by Victoria Marie, Lorna Haymes, and Gemma Wills who each live with inflammatory bowel disease. In 2014, they created a global campaign with a mission to support people affected by Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. As their name suggests, their initial and ongoing campaign encouraged people to show off their bellies by posting photos on social media. The goal is to raise awareness and show others that whether you have scars, an ostomy, or no visible signs at all, there's a support system here for anyone with inflammatory bowel disease.
#GetYourBellyOut's goal is to collect donations for ostomy supplies that might otherwise be destined for landfills. They also need to raise £300 to ship the pallet of supplies to Hospices of Hope, a non-profit organization that aims to provide palliative care services to adults and children with terminal and life-limiting illnesses in Southeastern Europe. They will be delivering and distributing the supplies in the areas most in need, such as Romania, Serbia, and Moldova.
"We've had a wonderful response this year to our Christmas Appeal. We're looking at plans to make this a yearly project, but currently our main focus is to ensure we can deliver our current donations in time for Christmas." – #GetYourBellyOut founders
If you live in the United Kingdom, please send ostomy supplies to this address before the November 30 deadline:
Storage Giant, Unit 11
Llanelli Gate, Dafen
Llanelli, SA14 8LQ
You can also donate funds online at #GetYourBellyOut Christmas Appeal.
The adage: "One man's trash is another man's treasure" is very true. It's a wonderful gesture of kindness to give to others who don't have any. If you have extras or an appliance you can't use, don't hesitate to donate it to a charity that helps ostomates in need.