National Homeless Persons Remembrance Day

Thursday 21st December 2017 is the first day of Winter in the UK and it marks #NationalHomelessPersonsRemembranceDay but I wanted to post this a little earlier than that to hopefully give enough time to raise awareness in the hope of adding more smiles to more faces this Christmas.

Homelessness is a heart breaking reality 4 seasons a year but there's something about Christmas and winter time that make those emotions even stronger. I don't know if it's because I always appreciate family time more at this time of year and it's a time where I reflect and appreciate how lucky I am or if it's because it's so so cold outdoors and I find myself moaning about the weather even when I'm home with a full tummy, cosy pyjamas and access to central heating. I honestly wish I had a magic wand and could provide food, warmth and comfort to those really in need but sadly I can't.


I can help though, maybe I can only help a handful of people in a very small way but it's a start. Even just to know they have been thought of is often enough for someone who is in an unfortunate situation, it doesn't have to be a big grand gesture but imagine the difference we could make if everyone united together and done one small act of kindness, even a one that doesn't cost any money. Sometimes a simple acknowledgment can mean the world to someone, maybe that person hasn't been acknowledged for weeks or even months, a simple smile and a hello can go a long way and comfort someone so much.
I know there's mixed views of the homeless situations and statistics but recent studies show that 1 in everyone 200 people in the UK are homeless. That is heart breaking. We are one of the richest countries in the world, why have we got people sleeping on the street in 2017? I'm not totally naïve and I know some people choose the lives they live and often put themselves in these situations but others don't. Sometimes life is just cruel, we aren't here to judge. Everyone makes mistakes, some more than others but that's just life. Judging people won't help them and it won't make you feel any better either.

I didn't want to donate money to a charity as if I'm honest I always wonder where it goes and if my contributions actually make a difference. I wanted to do something in my local community to make a difference.

It didn't cost me much, in fact it didn't cost me anything as most things wouldn't be used and would have just ended up in the bin.

I decided to fill a shopping bag with some essentials including non perishable food, hygiene items and when I was Christmas shopping for family I pickled up a few extra presents and included them too as it saddens me that some children will wake up on Christmas morning and have nothing to open. No family sitting round a table enjoying a delicious meal, no new toys to play with, no funny Christmas jumpers or unlimited amount of sweets. Some don't even have family. My friends and family are spoilt rotten so having a few presents less to them will go unnoticed, that's a very sad fact but I hope my small contributions can bring joy to someone this Christmas.

 
If you have anything in your cupboards please think about donating a few items to your local church/shelter or food bank and help to ease the struggle some people  have to face this winter.

Things that are welcomed from homeless charities and organisations are:
Tinned items (beans, spaghetti, curry, soup, hot dogs, ravioli, passata, tomatoes, potatoes, veg and fruit, preferably ring pull)
Dried food such as rice, pasta and cuppa soup packets
Snacks, biscuits and crisps
Long life milk and cream.
Cereal and snack bars
Gloves, hats, socks, sleeping bags, leg warmers, long johns and scarves
Shower gels/body washes and shampoo
Roll on deodorant
Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Sanitary items
Juice/bottled water/teabags/coffee/hot chocolate/Bovril




TrusselTrust are one of the largest food bank organisations in the UK and between April-September 2017 they handed out 586,907 3 day emergency food parcels, this is a 13% increase on the previous years figures. 208,342 of these parcels went to children. More up to date figures show from April-October 2017, 586,907 parcels have been hounded out and they expect this to worryingly increase during the festive/winter periods. This is just one organisation, there are hundreds of food banks across the country, these figures are sickening so please, even you only have a few tins or a bag of pasta that you won't use or if you're fortunate enough to spend a few extra quid on your next shop, please keep the less unfortunate in mind, even if it means skipping a bottle of wine one night just to make sure someone else has a hot meal, it's so worth it.


"In a world where you can be anything, be kind"

8 comments

  1. It's always been a good feeling when you help someone else, make them smile, it's really a good thing to do. Helping someone doesn't mean you want also something in return from them. When you help, help them with all your heart. Be always kind to everybody. :)

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  2. I've shared this, thank you so much. It really is important to be so grateful for how lucky we are and give back to the community where we can. My local town has a community christmas meal and you've reminded me I need to donate a present - I'll do that today!

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  3. This is such a timely reminder. In this season of giving, let us put to mind those who are living in dire straits and share with them our blessings. May you be blessed immensely for your kindness and I hope a lot of people will follow suit.

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  4. I feel sad when I see people sleeping on the streets. You are right, we should not judge and share what we have to bring a smile on their faces. May god bless you!

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  5. A beautiful reminder about what Christmas actually all about! Love and giving! It's sad to see people sleep on the street and try to survive everyday in their difficult lives. I know someone dear to my heart almost losing everything and with great possibility end up sleeping on the street. It's horrible experienced this person had, so I'm totally agree we should not judge because we don't know what they experience in life.

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  6. This is a wonderful idea and its so nice to be able to help out some one so they can too have a decent Christmas.

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  7. Oh I love this, helping the homeless is a huge part of our traditions at Christmas. We do a food shop for our local homeless shelter.

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  8. As we know, love and sharing is one of the true meaning of Christmas. Definitely you have all of us in spreading the awareness for this day.

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