Oh dear! I’m a bit behind with my blogging, having been away on holiday for a few weeks. I’ll be writing about some new developments going on at the food bank soon, but in the meantime, here is April’s inspiring quotation:
The quote seems especially appropriate to me this month because with arrival of some lovely, sunny weather, I’ve been enjoying walking around my neighbourhood! I shall do my best to remember to walk humbly and with gratitude 🙂
It’s been a while since I shared a bit of inspiration, but as I’ve always been a collector of quotations, I’ve decided I’ll try and post one on my blog each month. My offering for March is a photo I saw on Twitter recently. A simple enough statement, but one that made me consider to what extent my actions are aligned with the opinions I have about issues that are important to me…
(I’m afraid I just can’t help being slightly irked at the American spelling of ‘behaviour’, to say nothing of the glaring punctuation mistakes, but – ahem – that’s another matter entirely!)
Four years ago when I signed up for my first Crisis Christmas, one of the things I was most apprehensive about was speaking to the homeless guests I was going to come into contact with. What do you talk about to somebody who is homeless? I wondered. Not long into my first shift, my apprehension faded. What you talk about to people who are homeless are exactly the same topics you talk to anyone about: sport, the weather, work, hobbies, news, family. My biggest lesson that first year was that while Crisis’ guests need food, clothes and a shower, for so many of them the opportunity to just chat to somebody is equally important to them.
This makes complete sense, given how society marginalises those experiencing homelessness. A week at a Crisis centre over Christmas may be the only time in the year the guests are treated with respect, made to feel like members of a community, and receive genuine smiles rather than vacant stares. Crisis Christmas is good at providing the support and services guests may need to help them make changes and move forward in their lives. But I know the seemingly insignificant ‘acts of caring’ given by the volunteers also have the potential to make a real difference to how the guests feel about themselves and society at large.
Did you know Crisis Christmas is the biggest annual volunteering project in the UK? As it sadly draws to a close for another year, I wanted to share this as a nod to the thousands of people who have been helping out in London, Edinburgh and Newcastle over the past week. Even after my fourth year, the fact that so many people are willing to give up their holidays to help those who are homeless amazes me. I hope the Crisis Christmas experience motivates more people to volunteer throughout the year too.
Just thought I’d provide something to ponder over the weekend! I love this quote and currently have it stuck on my bedroom mirror.