Millions of adults have forgotten to donate to charity despite telling others they would, a poll claims.
At least one in 10 have told friends and family they have donated a certain amount to charity despite not actually doing so, the poll of 1000 adults found.
Of these, as many as 40 per cent claimed to have forgotten to make a donation, while three in 10 said they did not have the time, which is why they have misled others.
More than 27 per cent could not afford to make a donation, with 31 per cent even confessing to lying to show off.
The research was commissioned by Sainsbury’s and Argos who are urgently calling for donations as they launch their biggest ever Christmas charity drive.
It also emerged that one in four adults give less to charity than they think they should.
However, 95 per cent have donated at some point in their life, giving money, clothing and books to charitable causes.
The “Help Brighten a Million Christmases” campaign is encouraging one million food and toy donations in stores across the UK which will then be distributed to local communities in time for Christmas.
Judith Batchelar, from Sainsbury’s, said: “If every person shopping this December bought one extra item – be that a can of soup or a roll-on deodorant – over 50 million products could be donated to those in need this festive season.
She continued: “We will be welcoming products from any other retailer placed in our collection boxes, so everyone can come together to help Brighten a Million Christmases again this year.”
The poll also found nearly half of Britons feel happy and one-quarter feel proud of themselves when they donate in some form.
And 85 per cent agreed it was important to give to good causes – whether in the form of a cash donation, or giving old clothes, toys or food.
One-third are also more likely to make a donation when given a prompt, such as going to a fundraising event or seeing a donation tin at a shop till.
And another 33 per cent would also be more inclined to give to charity if it was easier to do so.
It also emerged that of the parents polled 40 per cent will have a big clear out of their children’s toys in time for Christmas, with seven out of every 10 going on to donate old toys and games to charity.
In fact, 88 per cent of parents actively encourage their little ones to be more generous and give to charity.
And a quarter said their youngsters would be willing to donate a present at Christmas to help those in need.
Sainsbury’s and Argos are asking customers to donate non-perishable food items, toiletries and new toys for children up to age 16.
The retailers also encourage the donation of old toys via a local charity shop to help brighten even more people’s Christmas.
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