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Reverse Advent Calendar: The advent calendar that gives back

We all know that Christmas is the season for giving and receiving. And this organisation based in Ballarat, Australia has decided to do a lot of giving. Reverse Advent Calendar has taken the tradition of the advent calendar, and reversed it. Traditionally, advent calendars have 24 doors, and behind each of those doors is a tasty treat. The organisation decided to start its own tradition- instead of taking out a treat in the lead up to Christmas, put one in instead.

Participants are given an empty box, and in the twenty days before Christmas, put one treat in a day. Items that can be put in the box include non-perishable food items, toiletries, and Christmas gifts. After the box is filled it is dropped off at select locations and distributed to food relief organisations who give them to those in need in the community.

Heather Luttrell came up with the idea after seeing it online. The program started informally on Facebook in 2018 when she created a post asking for friends to create boxes. “The response was incredible, and we ended up with over 70 boxes,” Heather said. Only three years later, the Reverse Advent Calendar project has grown beyond expectation. In 2020 the organisation filled over 3,000 boxes across Victoria, and the ACT (Australian Capital Territory). This Christmas they expect to receive over 4000 boxes. Heather is amazed by the success, saying: “It blows my mind to think that from one box in my family, in just four years, it’s become 4,000 families or individuals across Australia”

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