“Winterhoop” - PEN’s yearly campaign to raise blankets, clothing and food for the homeless….
(joint project with MES)…
The name means: “Giving Hope during Winter”….
I met some one today, let’s call him John to protect his dignity. When I got out of my car, I saw John and his beloved dog that he cares for like a child. He spends his last cents caring for her. She had babies recently and was very sad because he could not keep the babies. In my mind I was somewhat relieved, because how will he survive on the street, responsible for his dog and all the puppies? Yes, he lives on the street.
His eyes were shining, telling me that all the puppies got good homes…. The thought crossed my mind that the puppies are probably better off than him; they might have a warm bed and food at night.
I couldn’t help notice that he looked a bit stranger than usual. Only after my whole conversation, I looked down at his feet and realised he wasn’t wearing shoes! Surprised I asked him about it and he told with dismay that his shoes broke. This was just after 7h00 in the morning, on one of our colder winters days.
I left, deeply touched by the basic needs people sometimes go without. I am privileged; I could walk to my office with warm feet. I immediately put my bag down in my office and made it my mission to get him shoes. After a few conversations with friends and colleagues, John had warm feet.
What stayed with me was how many people will have to do without something simple, like shoes. Checking in at our Community Centre, our manager assured me that all the shoes and mens clothing was given out. The store room is empty.
Luckily our storerooms of friends are absolutely overflowing. Can you all please have a look in your closets for the shoes you do not really need any more? Our homeless community can do with those. As well as any warm clothes or blankets you can spare.
Warm ‘Winterhoop’ love.
Go to the Winterhope website for more details