As the cost of living crisis threatens livelihoods and local communities, a growing number of people have turned to crowdfunding platforms to offset some of the very worst costs.
Go Fund Me said it had seen a 63% increase in Christmas fundraisers mentioning “cost of living”.
The crisis is leading more people to rely on charity support to survive – but as demand increases, donations to established charities look set to fall.
A Charities Aid Foundation survey found that 14% of people plan to cut back on charity donations in the next six months.
But as inflation bites and those in need ask for help, they are finding their calls are being answered by people rallying to help, with money donated directly into their pockets.
From a town trying to keep the Christmas lights on to a former childhood cancer patient fundraising to help families in the same position, thousands have been raised through the platform.
A community hamper fund smashed its £10,000 target and will not be able to distribute festive baskets for those who might not otherwise be able to afford a Christmas meal.
Chloe, seven, and Joey Kostur, five, have raised almost £1,000 to help people with their food bills, setting themselves the challenge of walking 100 miles in 100 days.
The pair set themselves the target of walking every day to raise money, and as they hit day 46, they show no signs of stopping.
They will continue walking daily until 3 February.
Mum Lucy told Sky News: “They were quite concerned about how other people would be experiencing Christmas this year – I think they talk about it quite a lot at school.
“They are just really thoughtful kids.”
They spent £400 of their funds on toys and gifts for other children, spending the weekend wrapping them with family.
The rest of the money raised will be converted into food vouchers.
“They wanted to run around the shop tapping the card and paying for people’s shopping, bless them,” said Lucy. “But hopefully the vouchers will mean they can provide more targeted support.”
John Coventry, VP International at GoFundMe, said: “As the cost of living crisis starts to hit home for many people across the UK, we are seeing a significant uptick in people raising money on GoFundMe to help keep Christmas alive this year.
“It’s shaping up to be a tough time for many people – but the spirit of community kindness and support is looking stronger than ever this Christmas.”