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Winter is well and truly here! The biting cold sends most of us rushing home to wrap up in something warm and have a hot cup of tea or coffee, unwilling to go back outside unless absolutely necessary.
No one wants to be stuck out in the cold, nor should anyone have to be. Yet, according to the housing charity Shelter, this is the harsh reality for approximately 320,000 people each year.
For those sleeping rough on the streets, the onset of winter can be deadly. With makeshift tents and mattresses seeming to multiply in alleyways and stations and on street corners, it’s safe to say that the number of people without a stable roof over their heads is soaring. With temperatures set to drop in the coming months, each day that passes becomes more dangerous for those who are homeless.
Besides the effect that rough sleeping can have on someone’s mental health, it is often a huge risk to their life.
That’s why the UCKG Community Outreach took the initiative of asking members of the Church for donations of blankets, hats, gloves, scarves and hygiene products during the week prior to 25 December. Hundreds of people contributed, and on Christmas Day Bishop Alvaro and pastors, their wives and members of the Community Outreach Groups were able to distribute these items along with hot soup and words of encouragement to the less fortunate who were left to spend Christmas out on the streets.
“It was great to be able to reach out to those who did not have shelter and family or friends to share their Christmas with,” said Head of UCKG Community Outreach, Pastor Michael Boodram. “A simple blanket, toiletries, hat and gloves, and a hug were enough to put a smile on many faces. It also made our Christmas!”
The UCKG Community Outreach would like to thank all those who made a donation, whether big or small, so that others might have some comfort. Hundreds of people were helped through this initiative, though we believe we can still do more for those who are unable to help themselves.
Keep an eye out for future Community Outreach events in 2019.
For more information, you can email the UCKG Community Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org