We’ve already had a couple of you eager and generous beavers messaging us on our We Are Cardiff Facebook page, wanting to know how you can help the less fortunate this Christmas.
Well, I haven’t heard anything from Project Shoebox yet, but I did come across this project: South Wales gifts for the homeless, which is putting together gift bags for homeless and vulnerable people. Last year they raised £700 and created 1000 bags, but this year they want to smash their target and raise enough to put together 2000 bags. They’re asking for donations of items to go in gift bags, but also looking for money to buy food vouchers.
List of possible things to donate:
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitiser
- Sleeping bags
- Women’s sanitary products
- Wet wipes
- Dog food
- Tooth brush
- Dental floss
- Hair brush
- Lip balm
- Back packs
- Needles and thread
- Pens and paper
- Nail cutters
- Snacks bars
- First aid stuff
- Gift cards
- Cinema tickets
- Thick socks
- Emergency blankets (the thin silver kind)
Please note: they are not accepting any baby or children’s items.
Currently the group has drop off points in: Bargoed, Bridgend, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Treorchy and Abertillery.
If anyone is interested in volunteering or co-ordinating a drop-off point, please visit the Homeless gifts Facebook group which has been set up for discussion, and message organiser Katie (she’s going to need all the help she can get sorting out the donations!)
We have a number of charities in and around Cardiff that help homeless and vulnerable people all year round. Learn about their work and how you can help:
Also, just a final word: over the past week I’ve stopped for a chat with two homeless guys on the street. One served in Iraq, the other had been an addict most of his life and kept losing any housing he was assigned to. It was humbling and made me feel like a total piece of crap for all the vulnerable people on the street asking for help I don’t stop to talk to.
I get that modern life is busy and everyone is in a rush to get to where they’re going, but stopping for a chat and buying someone a cup of tea doesn’t take much out of your day. It’s freaking cold out there, guys.
PS the image above is from Ben Blyth’s Behind The Streets photography project.
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