I inherited a suitcase. I have great memories of time spent with my nan in Liverpool. She was crazy, loving and positive. The contents of this suitcase pretty much sums her up. A suitcase of her drawings, dated 1981 (see below) a recorder, some sparkly things, a money belt and some nunchucks of course. Nunchucks? Yes! Because that’s what all Nans sleep with under their pillow, right?
Midland Langar Seva Society. I’ve found a charity that I can help! Today we fed nearly 100 people in need! With hot food and drink. Curry, rice and pasta dishes. They alternate the food too. They are working in more areas feeding more people daily. After I left, they were going home to cook more for the night time to go back out on the streets! Was so humbling to hear stories of their work abroad too. A charity that’s not based on money, just food donations. The 2 guys today were like angels.
In Birmingham the official statistics indicated that in 2009/10, 4193 people presented as homeless and that’s not including the ‘hidden homeless’ such as the ones staying with friends.
To top it off, enough food for the homeless to eat a second plate full! Happy days! They have a Facebook page if you want to check them out. The info is on the picture. Thanks for reading 🙂
I’ll never forget the day that I met, who I’d like to think of as, the most positive and free spirited homeless man.
It all began when I saw this YouTube clip of a talented street performer. http://youtu.be/Y1ePXm3X7c8 . One man, one loud speaker, a violin and a scruffy old local. Thumping music echoed under the bridge in Berlin. The modern music appealed to many passers by. Especially the homeless man! I’m not sure whether it was the tune that made his feet move or the empty plastic bottle of cider in his hand. Either way, he was having the time of his life.
I’d never travelled alone before. I’d recently read a book that inspired me and after seeing this clip, I’d booked a flight for one to Berlin, Germany.
The mission was on to watch street performers in Alexanderplatz and to see ‘The East Side Gallery.’ The graffiti spoke of so much history and I couldn’t wait to experience my first solo adventure. I booked to stay at The a Circus Hostel after reading many reviews on Trip Advisor.
“Bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-buuurrrr!’ The sound of arrival of the Ryanair flight… I was there! So much to absorb, the language, the graffiti-covered buildings, the smell of German pastries filling the air.
After checking into the hostel, I introduced myself to my roommates. A talkative French girl with pink, fluffy hair and a Venezuelan guy on his first trip of Europe. He inspired me to learn Spanish and discover South America. We arranged to meet for a beer in the downstairs bar later on in the night. But first, exploring to do!
“Ein ticket zum Alexanderplatz bitte.” I validated my ticket for the U-Bahn and headed to the centre. Looking up, I recognised ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and located myself on the map. Strolling into the open air, I sat with my coffee to do some people watching.
The sun was shining and I heard the familiar sound of a Bob Marley song. A Jamaican guy strummed his guitar and sang to a cheering crowd. As I looked closer, I had to do a double take. It was him, I’d found him! A white beard, white hair, a grey hooded top and the moves of a twenty year old in a techno rave! It was the homeless man that I’d travelled 810 miles to find! On lookers recorded the performance and I excitedly shook his hand. His skin was dry and weathered from years of sleeping on the streets. His smile was wide and beaming.
“I saw you on YouTube!” I said. He smiled and replied in German to which I couldn’t fully understand. However, we shared a moment. Two free-spirited people from two different countries laughing and dancing to the sounds of reggae music on the streets of Berlin.
The last few weeks, I’ve been looking to volunteer at various places, food banks, homeless shelters, soup kitchens… I’ve been informed that due to low budgets some places aren’t taking on any volunteers. I’m waiting to hear from a couple of ‘maybes’ though so fingers crossed. In the meantime my 8 year old son, Finley and I have come up with a plan!
Every morning on the way to work, I pass homeless people in Birmingham City Centre, sleeping in doorways and there are many Big Issue sellers about. There are many great charities that are working hard to help people.
Finley has kindly suggested helping to make lunch boxes to hand out. Enough to fill a backpack and to provide meals, drinks and snacks for ten people. It’s not going to change the world, we know, but little things may help. Also it’ll prevent him from taking things for granted when we think of those less fortunate. So tomorrow morning is the first mission to hand out some food! Then week by week we will have new ideas to make a small difference. Peace and love!