Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Xmas 2014 Gift Drop with London Spiritual Events & Socials

A busy few days with our xmas gift walk, day out with the kindness offensive and two Gong Baths within 2 days ! followed by a trip to Devon for an all night Gong Puja on the third day then Glastonbury for Solstice on day 4. It's been a very eventful year end which leaves me now chillaxing and taking a much needed break.

The day started with operation pressie wrap where I was joined by Michelle, Matthew and Lorella to wrap pressies and write out xmas cards.  I was thankful for my friends help as wrapping is not one of my strengths. We had many gifts to wrap, a combination of donated gifts and those purchased with monitory donations from our fund raising efforts over the past year.  Earlier in the day, Carmen and her daughter arrived to collect a huge stock of the granola cereal which we have donated to the night shelter. Far too much to carry so very thankful for the pickup and later delivery to the night shelter.

We all set off with more than we could comfortably carry. We were met by Lucinda, Rena, Britto, Lorella, Me, Carmen, Matthew, Michelle and Aaron aka Team Xmas Walk :-) An amazing team of beautiful souls who all came along and gave so much of themselves on the night. Big thanks to those who had collected and delivered gifts to me prior to the walk too. One of our members had a collection box at her workplace and delivered to me a massive sack of ready wrapped gifts. I was super amazed at everyone's kindness and generosity. Your support and help is really massively appreciated. Thank you Thank you Thank you :-)

So now I leave you with the beautiful and so perfectly described words of one of our members, Carmen who has showed total dedication to the cause and joined us on every homeless walk. We are so very thankful to Carmen and indeed all our members for their support and dedication with our service work. Big big thanks to you all for helping us to help others by way of donations of goods, money and time and effort. Thank you and wishing you all an amazing 2015.  We will be back in 2015 for many more events, socials and service work where it is our aim to enhance your spiritual journey, making it one filled with opportunities for spiritual growth and development, friendship, laughter, compassion and excitement. Love, Peace and Blessings XXX Odette & Marta

TALES OF THE CITY (HOMELESS) V by Carmen Harris (writer and healer)

Lucinda, Rena, Britto, Lorella, Me, Carmen, Matthew, Michelle and Aaron.

Eleven of us, including my 15 year old daughter, pounded the pavements tonight, our last night before the Christmas break. Between us we carried an assortment of 18 bags and rucksacks of 100+ donations of wrapped presents containing new winter accessories, slabs of chocolate, torches, nail clippers and toiletries. There was even a well-received dog bone that had Brigadier salivating with excitement before it could be pulled out of its packet.

Sadly, one of our first stops was to encounter the young blond lady who'd arrived from Scotland several weeks before seeking a new life. Looking pale, she was still in the same doorway surrounded by her belongings and she told us that she'd recently been ill. We wished her better fortunes for the coming year and gave her two lots of presents, which she received with delight. 

Another sad sight was the dignified young Asian man who stands with his suitcase under awnings trying to look 'normal.' When I first met him, several weeks ago, he could have been any traveller waiting for a friend; now that his black coat bore a slimy stain on the front, he stood out as among the homeless. At first he was suspicious of our wrapped gift, but then received it with thanks. 

There was much gratitude from lively Sean who was in good spirits and who told us that he was in the process of securing a job as a forklift driver; one man was so happy with his present he couldn't stop showering me with kisses; an older man's eyes opened wide with disbelief when my daughter approached him with a gift bag. Overcome, he sang a little song, cried actual tears and blubbed 'I love you'. 

One well dressed Chinese lady, obviously new on the streets, huddled in a doorway, declined our offer saying she already had all she could carry. 

On the other end of the homeless spectrum, an older world-weary man grumpily refused our wrapped gift but was persuaded to take a bar of chocolate. He then cheered up considerably when he was offered one of the rucksacks that was now emptied of presents. Several minutes later we realised that a mistake had been made! The rucksack belonged to Matthew who had brought it on his trip down to London! No-one, however, had the heart to take it back from the openly delighted down-and-outer. 

We then trudged to Trafalgar Square and happened upon a poignant scene, scores of people surrounding a bright sea of fairy lights, honouring the dead children in the recent Pakistan tragedy. We lit candles and carried on towards the hostel where we chatted and gave out more well-received presents to a group of grateful young men. 

All in all a really worthwhile night, to see the happiness and gratitude from people who couldn't believe the kindness from strangers and appreciated the personally written cards wishing them better times for 2015. Let's hope that wish comes true.

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