Christmas is a time for silly spending and for eating and drinking. Whether you’re washing down canapés with a shot of tequila or consuming cheese by the hamper-load, it’s a season of excess.

But Christmas is also a time for helping others, something Adam Robinson, CEO and founder of DineSmart, is passionate about.

The DineSmart concept is simple. Enjoy a meal out at a participating restaurant and add a donation of $2 or more to your bill. Over the past 12 years, DineSmart has raised an impressive $3.4 million for the homeless, and this year it’s aiming to set a new national record and smash the $400,000 mark.

Where does the money go? Every cent raised is redistributed among local grassroots projects working to support the homeless in their neighbourhoods. 100 per cent of money raised in Sydney’s CBD, for example, will go towards breaking the cycle of homelessness in Sydney’s CBD.

The $254,300 raised during DineSmart 2014 was given to local charities and not-for-profit organisations through 70 community grants.

A $6,750 grant to Sydney Homeless Connect funded their Identification Certificate and Photography services, which assists the homeless or those at risk of homelessness with getting into accommodation.

Erez Gordon of Bishop Sessa is a big fan of DineSmart. “It's not even a question. DineSmart is a really simple, effective way of giving back in an industry that spends most of it's time patting itself on the back for providing everyone with a good time. When Adam Robinson (CEO of DineSmart) said we should start charging $2 per meal for charity I don’t think a single person said 'it's not going to work'.”

So far, 114 restaurants across Australia have signed up to DineSmart 2015, including Cho Cho San, Bloodwood, Subcontinental, The Apollo and Four in Hand.

How can you play your part? Just tuck into a meal at one of the participating restaurants. It’s as simple as that. So, don’t be a scrooge this Christmas. Put your money where your mouth is and help out by dining out.

Find the participating DineSmart restaurants in your neighbourhood here.

streetsmartaustralia.org/dinesmart