THE REVERSE advent calendar is an alternative way of giving gifts to the homeless this Christmas.

The idea is that instead of taking something out of an advent calendar, like we do with a chocolate everyday, we put something back in it for the homeless to receive.

Louise Scott came up with the idea back in 2015. The idea began in her living room at her home in South Shields, Country Durham.

Louise’s parents and a few friends initially helped out but as the project grew she contacted local charities and homeless shelters to get involved.

This began after she saw lots of negativity in the media about the attacks that happened in Paris.

Louise said: “I wanted to do something to cheer people up and give something back to the less fortunate.”

After Louise posted her idea on Facebook it went viral and traveled across the world.

Louise explained: “I was absolutely gobsmacked, the status got shared 168,000 times in less than four days.

“So many people all over the world got involved I was taken back.”

From the amount of shares it has got on social media like Facebook and Twitter there has been a lot of the boxes made.

In the first year Louise did it she had 3 van loads of boxes, whilst added up to 80 boxes.

Louise said: “All of the boxes were full of gifts, food, toiletries etc to give out to the homeless.”

Looking into the future Louise doesn’t have any more ideas for anything els like this.

She is wanting to keep her focus on creating the buzz for the reverse advent calendars and making sure everyone is still making them.

Jamie Dennis a volunteer at a homeless shelter and food truck said: “It is a nice initiative people can do at home.

“I think it is a nice idea that people are become more proactive about it in their own little way.”

She continued: “It will be a good way to promote the struggles that people on the streets are having.

“Social media plays a big role as people promote themselves making them.”

We also spoke to passers by in Salford to hear their views on the advent calendars.

“I think it is a good idea, rather than giving people money.

“You need to make sure that everything you are giving them is defiantly beneficial.”

Someone added: “The perception people have is that the homeless buy drugs with the money that is given to them

“So by doing this you defiantly know it is going to someone who actually is homeless.”

A lot of people are getting involved this year to help the homeless and less fortunate.

It is really making a huge difference this Christmas.

A reverse advent calendar is really simple and easy to make, here is a step by step guide on how to make one:


  1. You need a box, one big enough to fit 24 items in.
  2. Every day you put a non perishable or toiletry item in the box with a number from 1-24 on it depending on the day
  3. Keep filling the box until Christmas even which will be number 24
  4. Once it is full you can take it down to your local food bank who will take it and give it out to the homeless and less fortunate.

Here is a video to show you how to do it too:

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