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Are you looking forward to a joyful Christmas?

At Christmas! ‘We open our presents, laugh together, sit down to eat. But beyond the window, out there in the darkness, are those for whom Christmas brings no respite. For them, it’s another day of loneliness, hunger, shame, abandonment, and fear.’

(Remember Them – by poet, Pam Brown b.1928)

Each year as Christmas approaches, I think of Pam Brown’s words above, as she talks about ‘those’ and ‘them’.

Homelessness can strike anyone, at any time.

You see them living under bridges; sleeping in darkened shop doorways; ‘camping’ under bits of cardboard and plastic sheeting; and searching through rubbish bins for scraps of food or the last few drops left in a thrown away beverage can.

They wear ragged clothing, look unwashed, and beg. They (and them) are the homeless people of our world.

It’s a proven fact that homelessness can happen to anyone not necessarily through their own fault but rather as victims of circumstances – people like Joe*, Lerato*, Angie*, and Mike*, Katherine* and their eight-year-old daughter Lauren*.

Joe was a qualified and employed fitter and turner until automation replaced the need for his human skills in his field. Now he survives on being a piece worker and cleaner.

Your gift could provide a child with a meal and a small gift or treat.

Lerato with two young daughters was abandoned by her husband, leaving them to live

on the street. She desperately searches for work to feed her children . . . washing, ironing, cleaning, anything!

When Angie’s mother died, her stepfather threw her out. With no real qualifications she battles to find work. Angie lives under a bridge and walks the streets every day trying to find work of any kind.

Mike, Katherine and young daughter, Lauren lived in a nice house and had a good life until Mike was retrenched, and their world collapsed in stages reducing them to homelessness.

Please will you reach out to families in need this Christmas?

Pam Brown’s poem goes on to express the wish that those of us who are privileged could hear the voices beyond our windows.

And at Christmas bring them in to share their stories. Because they’re not statistics but each an individual, valuable as we are.

Here at The Salvation Army, with the help of our kind supporters, we try to make Pam Brown’s wish come true by inviting homeless people in to celebrate Christmas with us. We provide a hot nourishing meal. And for the children, we try to add a sweet treat or a small gift of some kind – just like other children in the world will be receiving.

And for the children, we try to add a sweet treat or a small gift of some kind – just like other children in the world will be receiving. This year, I’m inviting you to be part of Christmas for the homeless by clicking here to make your donation, so that nobody – no man, woman or child gets turned away on Christmas day.

If you feel fortunate enough to be looking forward to a joyful Christmas, please click here to send your gift to make the spirit of Christmas real for those who are less fortunate.

Your gift, sent off in time for Christmas, will bring joy to a homeless person this festive season.