One woman's random act of kindness brings Christmas cheer to those in need

Some people need help during the holiday season. And Caroline Macrory, a single mom in London, wants to make sure they get it.

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  • Some people need help during the holiday season.

  • And Caroline Macrory, a single mom in London, wants to make sure they get it.

  • In a Facebook post last week, Macrory called for people to participate in a new challenge that can help people in need receive food, gifts and pleasantries during the holiday season.

  • The Christmas doorstep challenge is on! Imagine how many Christmases could be brightened by a simple gesture. The...

    Posted by Caroline Macrory on Friday, December 11, 2015
  • The rules are simple — find someone you know who's in need, leave a gift at their doorstep, write an anonymous note that says someone was thinking about the receiver and leave the gift behind, her Facebook post noted.

  • "This year I picked a single mum who lost her dad at Christmas last year and is putting on a brave face this year for her two young kids," she admitted in the post. "Let's share and see if this catches on and we can spread a bit of Christmas magic. Miracles really do happen!"

  • So far, the challenge has worked better than she thought it would. People across the world have practiced the random act of kindness and posted about it with the hashtag #doorstepchallenge.

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  • Macrory was surprised — and joyful — about the challenge catching on with other people.

  • "Also, I think that with the horrible things that have been happening around the world, people have enjoyed embracing an idea that sends a loving and positive message and brings back the true meaning of Christmas," Macrory told Mashable. "It makes me feel very happy that the challenge has caught on in this way, because it shows how many wonderful people are out there, and with the power of social media a lot of Christmas cheer can certainly be spread!"

  • The challenge's success isn't much of a surprise, given that the holiday season is one of the most popular times for giving. In 2014, USA Today reported that charities often see an increase in donations around the holiday months. Nonprofit organizations often plan for an increase in donations during November and December, too.

  • "Historically, this is when nonprofit organizations have made the biggest push in terms of fundraising appeals," Steve MacLaughlin, director of product management for the Blackbaud Index, told USA Today. "The number one reason people give to charity is because they're asked."

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  • But more recent research has pointed out the opposite — with 71 percent of Americans saying that the holidays don't influence their charitable givings, research from COUNTRY Financial Security Index found.

  • Still, people in the United States are interested in giving overall. Whether it's their time or money, 34 percent of Americans give to charity on a regular basis, the research found.

  • "Charitable giving doesn't have to be wishful thinking," Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security at COUNTRY Financial, said in a statement. "With the new year approaching, now is the perfect time to revisit your financial plan and build in philanthropic donations."

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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