Crisis at Christmas 2010

Home, UK Friday 24 December, 2010 2.15am GMT

I returned home from Crisis (http://www.crisis.org.uk)about 30 minutes ago… my recent shift was from 2pm until 11pm, but it over-ran a bit and I ended up leaving there about 12.30am. No complaints though. It was my pleasure being able to help out.

I first volunteered for Crisis at Christmas back in 2007. Ever since, I have wanted to go back and do more, and I managed to find some time this year. I’m glad I did. Extremely glad.

I was wondering why I wanted to do this. Some would say it gives me pleasure. Yes, it certainly does. However it is not the main factor. Some would say it makes me feel good. Yes, too. However, not the main factor again.

Instead, for me, it is a great opportunity to do something that makes a big difference to the wellbeing of a subset of the population that tend to be forgotten and ignored. It allows me to be a part of a team that are dedicated to making that subset of the population feel like human beings. It reminds me to be humble, to be grateful for everything I have. It is a great leveller in that it gives me the comparative perspective of where my own problems and issues in life are compared to those of others. I feel fulfilled by doing something worthwhile.

Not only that, but I also get to meet people from various walks of life… and by that I do not mean only the volunteers .. the homeless too. Everyone has a story to tell and it is interesting to hear their viewpoints. I learn a lot from these conversations.

One particular person stands out for me this year. This year, Will is a volunteer with Crisis. This time last year he was a guest at Crisis.. one of the homeless… and in under a year he has turned his life around. He now rents his own apartment, has a steady job and a girlfriend whom he intends to marry. Truly inspirational.

Whilst we are in our warm homes, looking forward to Christmas (the festivities, the exchanging of gifts, the indulgence in food and drink, the being with family), we can easily forget about the ones who are less fortunate than us. Of course, we have our own issues.. financial problems as an example.. but these are insignificant when compared to those who are homeless.

A couple of quotes (from songs)…

“There’s a world outside your window & it’s a world of dread & fear” – Do they know it’s Christmas, Band Aid

“I see the kids in the street, with not enough to eat ; Who am I to be blind, pretending not to see their needs?” – Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson

Although the songs were not about homelessness, I thought those particular parts of the songs were relevent to the topic at hand.

Crisis- the charity for the homeless runs Christmas centres every year, where the homeless are cared for, fed and looked after, given a warm shelter. This is even more important especially with the big freeze we are currently going through… Can you imagine being out in the cold throughout the night?

Up to 2000 homeless people are being welcomed in the nine centres being run by Crisis this Christmas. Thousands of volunteers are donating their time and professional skills to the cause, and I am honoured to have been part of the team.

Any sponsorship raised is helpful.. so please think about donating via my link at

http://community.crisis.org.uk/denesh

Thanks to those who have already done so – at the moment, the tally stands at 105. I did not expect this and am once again amazed and happy with the generosity of people…

When you donate to crisis:

  • 10 could pay for one medical kit.
  • 25 could enable a homeless person to learn new skills.
  • 40 could pay for the training of 5 volunteers.
  • 50 could keep 10 homeless people healthy by covering the cost of their prescriptions.
  • 200 could furnish a library area at one of the Christmas centres run by Crisis.

Anyway, I felt the need to connect with my readership and share these words with you as soon as I returned home. 🙂

Until next time… a very Merry Christmas to one and all.

Love, light and peace…