Five years ago my friend and I were in the pub discussing what it would be like to be homeless at Christmas, it was obviously a heartbreaking conversation… so we decided we didn’t want to be all talk and we agreed to put our money where our mouth is.
We were just two young guys in a Glasgow bar, normal people with normal lives and knew we could not solve any problems, but we thought we could do something surely!
So… on Christmas Eve we started handing out Christmas gift bags to the homeless, all with our own money and anonymously. Just having a chat and not leaving any contact details.
Sometimes leaving a gift bag beside them to find when they awoke.
But one of our original ideas has really blossomed! Our idea was, “Write To Someone You Miss This Christmas.”
Not only does a card go into every gift bag. But with the support of the Royal Mail, our exclusive Christmas card and envelope with ‘a stamp attached’ is reaching hundreds and hundreds of homeless people in the UK.
The wonderful ‘Social Bite’ help distribute them across Scotland. And this year we hope to have them available UK wide in 2018.
‘Social Bite’, a chain of cafes that are a social business where 1 in 4 employees are ex homeless, help to get their our cards into the hands of homeless people in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Ewain Black of Social Bite said that: “Homeless at Christmas do great work. Their stamped Christmas cards were really warmly received.
Giving people a way to communicate, in a small way reduces the isolation that many feel at Christmas.”
The Christmas cards are also available to The Glasgow Winter Night Shelter.
474 people used The Shelter last season on 2,906 occasions… an increase of 94% of people walking in homeless and cold.
Barbara Haig who handed out the cards in Edinburgh’s Social Bite explains: “For some it was quite an emotional experience because card writing was something they hadn’t done for a while. ALL were extremely grateful for the opportunity to send a message home. I would love to see if anyone is reunited or there is some form of re-connection made.”
This whole journey has been humbling and heart warming. And we hope family and friends enjoy hearing from them. You should not cease to exist – just because you are homeless.
Now friends and family help and we have support from companies that very generously give items for our gift bags.
We are even giving away hot pizzas with the bags this year with help from Tony Macaroni.
And Baw Bags donated, underwear, hats and warm snoods.
2017 was our best year yet supporting the homeless. Thank you to everyone who helps Homeless At Christmas .org
Get in touch if you have sent a card, received a card or can help in any way.
Christmas 2018 has big plans in the works… stay tuned 🙂
“It’s amazing to think that one tiny idea and a wee stamp has the potential to change a life.”
Colin & Iain x
“Write To Someone You Miss This Christmas” Supported by The Royal Mail