About a year ago we started volunteering on the Bethany Care Van, providing hot meals and warm clothing to rough sleepers in Edinburgh. For me personally, it’s been a bit of a revelation – 12 months ago I’d have walked past a homeless person without even considering their story. Now, having shared a handful of lunch breaks with them, I know their faces, their names and enough about them to realise that with a bit of bad luck I could easily be on the other side of the serving hatch.
We’d been asked for warm clothes a few times on the van and found them to be in short supply. So, with the Christmas card season upon us, we hit on an idea. Using old cardboard boxes from the dumping ground behind our bookcase, and spare wrapping paper from our over-zealous Christmas shopping, we created an environmentally-friendly direct mailer that you just couldn’t help but open. Landing on desks on a snowy day in late December, looking like a wrapped up Christmas present and baring the line All Wrapped up for Christmas, our mailer asked for donations of warm clothing to be passed straight on to those sleeping rough in the harshest of weather.
Within a couple of days we were flooded with warm donations and we knew those hours cutting cardboard had all been worthwhile. We received dozens of jumpers, jackets, hats and blankets. Every single item really did make a huge difference. A warm pair of socks and a waterproof can go a long way towards making the cold nights more bearable and thanks to the generosity of our friends I think we spread a wee bit of warmth this Christmas.
If you’d like to help out it isn’t too late (it’s still freezing outside and over 350 people sleep rough in Edinburgh). If you have warm clothing to donate please get in touch with any of the team or email Dave.King@studiolr.com.