Every year this is how I spend my Christmas. I wouldn’t want it any other way and I don’t think I could ever go back to the chaos of a family Christmas. These guys are my Christmas family.
Every year I get grumpy, I get cold and get grouchy about how I have to get up early and do a long shift there. But then I remember. It’s only a week of my life. These people have to suffer with this every single day.
But as soon as I walk into that center full of amazing wonderful people I instantly remember why I do it. The first year I did it I had the most emotional experience. I was working on the tea/coffee/snack stand. I had a woman standing there cold and lonely with her whole life in a carrier bag staring enviously at our table. I coached her over and asked what she wanted and said she could take whatever she could fill her pockets with and I would make her any drink she wanted. She was gobsmacked. Her response was “I have never had any one offer me something like this. I have never had a choice of what I can take”. She cried I cried we awkwardly stood there hugging and snotting on each other.
We had guests come in and feel shocked because someone held a door open for them and greeted them which they were not used to. It’s the little things in life that we don’t realize are so important. We help these people feel human again.
I have had marriage proposals and have had some of the best conversations with these people from prostitution to dating advice, and it has made me realize how lucky I am as a person and I will never take for granted what I have in this life.
Next time you see a homeless person in the street please do not assume that if you give them money they will spend it on drugs/drink. 70% of homelessness in the U.K is due to the breakdown of relationships. Not down to drink and drug issues. If you can, buy them some food and a hot drink or maybe even try and help them find a local hostel. Just think what would you want someone to do to help you if you were in that position. And if you are not able to. Just have a conversation with them. You may be the only person they speak to all week.
Click here to give a simple donation to Crisis to help crisis make a memorable Christmas and just a good old helping hand to the people in need. As every year we run out of beds. And the more volunteers we have. The more beds we get
If you want to volunteer I promise you it will be the best thing you have ever done and you will realize how valuable your free time really is. You must be over 18 (16/17 year old’s need a guardian with them basically glued at the hip). Applications to apply for crisis on their website open every September/October and there are shelters all across London to volunteer (ELDC is the best just sayin). CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER
Peace homies ✌🏻