Press Release: National Charity Encourages Everyone to be a Secret Santa on St Nicholas Day, 6th December.

The online charity Acts 435 ( described as an “ebay for giving” is encouraging everyone to become a Secret Santa this year by anonymously donating to individuals in need.

On St Nicholas Day, 6th December, Churches in England and across the globe commemorate St Nicholas of Myra – a 4th century Bishop from Turkey – whose journey from Saint to Santa began with his legend for secret gift giving to those in need.

The Rt. Revd. Arun Arora, Bishop of Kirkstall, one of the founding trustees of Acts 435, said: “St Nicholas Day is an opportunity to reclaim the more secretive aspect of giving and the invitation for each of us to be a Secret Santa – perhaps through random acts of kindness and giving anonymously to people we know or through organised charities such as Acts 435 – an online charity that enables people to give anonymously directly to individuals in need.

“While still a young man Nicholas became known for his generosity to those in need, for rescuing sailors in the Aegean sea, and his concern for the destitute. His Saints Day is marked across the globe each year in different ways, not least in the Netherlands Belgium, Luxembourg and northern France, who on 6th December celebrate the festival of Sinter Klass.

“Here in the UK at a time when so many people are in need, Acts 435 puts people who want to help in touch with people who are in need, through a network of churches and local charities. Acts 435 enables virtual, online giving for specific needs. 100% of what is donated via Acts 435 goes directly to those in need. My encouragement to everyone on December 6th and for this Christmas is simply: “Be more St Nic!”

Since its launch in 2010 the charity has enabled more than 45,000 individuals to receive direct help for practical needs ranging from school uniforms to energy bills, hot meals to washing machine repairs, funeral costs to children’s shoes. Each met need represents an individual or family whose hope and dignity has been restored through gift.

A typical story of those helped by the charity comes from Maureen (not her real name) who during a weekend away to celebrate her retirement, suffered a stroke leading to a blood clot on her brain. Thankfully, after a major operation and a few complications, she is recovering well. However, the stress of travelling a round trip of 74 miles weekly for a month and then fortnightly for up to six months was causing more stress and worry for her and her son. Maureen couldn't afford the cost of these journeys on her low income and pension credit.

Thankfully, Acts 435 donors stepped in to help provide Maureen with the funds for petrol and hospital parking. Maureen said: “I have never had to rely on anyone in my life until I became ill suddenly, what a shock that was ! The last three months have been so difficult, my life has changed so much; I can't walk without a walker and I have to rely on people to help me with the basics such as shopping…to those people who donated this gift, I may not ever meet you, but you will always have a place in my heart. I wish you all a long and healthy life! God bless you all and my thanks will never be enough.”

Maureen’s story, and that of many others, can be found here:

Alan Woodhead, who is part of a village church in East Yorkshire and who volunteers for Acts 435 said: “The appreciation and, above all, hope that a relatively small gift can bring to a person or family in some desperate struggle to get by from anonymous donors makes it so rewarding."

Alan’s Story, alongside that of other partners, can be read in full here:


Notes to Editors/Planning Desks:

More details about how Acts 435 works, impact stories and partner stories can be found at

Arun Arora is available for broadcast interview on or before 6th December – contact:

Feature pieces/op-eds about the work of Acts435 for publication on or before 6th December are available. These can be localised through impact stories. Still images of Bishop Arun are also available.

For more information contact Katie Greene, Communications Director,