These are the questions that the boys have got me asking myself this week. You may have seen my recent Instagram post about their clothes charity collection. Over the last week people have been dropping off so much stuff!
It started when our biggest read a leaflet from Shelter (the charity that supports people who find themselves homeless). As he read it, I could tell that it was really making him think. The day after he kept trying to sort out my scarves and hats to donate 😳😤. A bit exasperated I told him to maybe organise a collection. And that was it, he was off. 71 leaflets later we delivered.
The kids kindness didn’t surprise me. I have worked as a teacher for 20 years; kids feel things and can see solutions clearly. People are kind. And don’t get me wrong, the world has lots of adult charity heroes (if that’s even a phrase?!? – hopefully you know what I mean). But to kids in general, I think the solutions seem easy. Obvious. And they’ll go for it. Their minds aren’t so cluttered with day to day life and responsibilities.
Their kindness did make me think about providing more opportunities though, perhaps for more meaningful toy donation…ideas welcome!
Anyway, what has surprised me is how much stuff we’ve been given. And the quality of the stuff. People have been so generous. The boys’ posters were covered with innocent phrases like “We CAN do this together!” To be honest their innocence made me smile at the time, but on reflection I can see that they are right. That we can do it together. And I’ve remembered that I used to think like that too. Maybe somehow we all need to get back to believing that we can change things. That the little things add up. I know I need to remember this.
In all honesty if I can’t find something I need it’s because we’ve got too much stuff, not because it’s not there.
The boys see homelessness, alongside people being cold and hungry, as something that is easily fixable. Something that should be fixed fast. And they’re right. So I’ve gone back to my hats, scarves and gloves. Biggest made a very good point – I’ve got way too many. How many do you need when you have warm radiators to dry them on?
We’ve started delivering the clothes – the flimsier ones to Shelter to sell and the more robust, warm garments to collection points for local shelters and food kitchens.
See below for some useful links for donating food and clothes in your area. If any others spring to mind please let me know! My mind is still cluttered but I’m trying to be a little bit more like a kid.
Find your nearest food bank
Other helpful links