Dec 19 ,2016 Written By: Verry Kerry

SOLIDARITY NOT CHARITY

We donated 500 pairs of socks to homeless...

and I have to say, it was one of the most humbling experiences ever.

On Black Friday, we decided to donate 20% of all orders to buying warm thick socks for homeless people and thank you to your support we delivered 500 pairs to our friends at Streetskitchen.

 

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Meeting the absolute legend that is John was the most inspiring of all encounters. He runs the aweomse non profit organisation Streets Kitchen and, among others, has the mammoth task of organising donations of food and goods and hand delivers them without fail, on their outreach evenings. John has been selflessly doing this for 30 years! Together with Heather and another absolute remarkable human being, Janie, who runs Refugee Community Kitchen, they provide a warm nourishing and absolutely delicious meal to anyone who is hungry.

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“Food is a distribution of wealth. We all need to eat, and when we are so hungry, it is all we can focus on. We can’t think about the next thing, getting a shelter, job, or doing the right thing for our kids or anyone else. Everyone deserves a hot warm meal. And I don’t discriminate. If people who are clearly not homeless come up for a free meal, I don’t mind. I just insist that they pass on the kindness to others.” Janie

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Wow. Janie makes all of these amazing delicious meals herself through donated food in her kitchen and takes them currently to three main outreach points - Camden, Euston and Hackney. Three times a week from 7pm-9pm.

John makes sure there is Hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate and any chocolates and sweet treats for all (a special thanks for the chocolate goes to Ian and his Socksandchocks initiative). He packs a shopping trolley full of hot water thermoses, folding tables, all the bits, and, along with volunteers, carries suitcases full of donated gloves, beanies, jackets, jumpers (socks!) and sanitary pads to hand out.

But more than all of this, he talks to everyone, makes everyone feel worthy, valued and important, and is evidently loved by everyone he meets.

I met some of the most incredible people! And realised that my little contribution went a really long way. I made friends with many of the homeless, found them new wardrobes and had many a laugh and chat. Something my new friend Ray ( a little ray of sunshine) says he really misses. He said the biggest struggle was finding people who are happy to make the time to have a good old natter. “Everyone on the street always ask you for something. But no one really wants to have a chat” Ray.

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I would urge anyone to please donate any food or clothing to www.streetskitchen.com and refugeecommunitykitchen - and if you feel like doing something truly amazing that will give you buzz money can’t buy - help out and volunteer.

There is no bureaucracy, no red tape - just kind, generous people directly feeding, clothing and supporting our less fortunate friends. ‘Solidarity not charity’ - incredible.

Thank you for this unforgettable, most humbling of experiences.

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