A few months before Christmas and George and Molly saw a video about a backpack project for homeless people and they were soon talking about ways to help the homeless people in Cardiff. Cut to 18th December and we were handing out bags for our The Kindness Project: Helping the Homeless in Cardiff, read below to find out how we got on…
The Kindness Project: Helping the Homeless in Cardiff, Christmas 2018
It all began with two kind kids living in Cardiff. Their interest in helping others was a catalyst to an amazing and incredibly rewarding event in December 2018.
After chatting about what we’d like to achieve, we set up a Facebook group and event and invited people to join in and help. I contacted lots of various people, tweeted about the project, mentioned it on Facebook and Instagram, and George designed posters to pop around our local community inviting people to donate.
We also managed to knit a few things thanks to the inspiration of the Wallich and their One Knit Wonder campaign, as well as hand out the flyers to Cathays Library and Cathays Community Centre. Meanwhile, Wyburn & Wayne and the Cardiff Times shared our exciting project!
We even had a cheeky mention in the Cardiffian, a really lovely treat for George and Molly!
Before long the momentum built and we were offered some amazing donations. We collected them over the few weeks of December, storing them in our tiny house until the 18 came around and it was time to hand out the bags.
We received the following donations:
- Food, toiletries and an abundance of other useful items from One Knit Wonder
- Coffee vouchers from Wild Thing Cardiff
- Donations of clothing from RHIsonably Interesting and other contacts on Instagram (you know who you are!)
- Donations of toiletries, bags and other essential items from family members
- An array of donations from Help for Homeless Cardiff University
- Donations from the general public and fab people of Twitter and Facebook (plus £25 worth of donations that helped buy chocolate and extra backpacks)
- Gorgeously wrapped boxes of biscuits
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!
Because of all these amazing donations, we were able to include most of the following in each backpack:
- Sanitary products
- Toiletries (toothpaste, flannels, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap etc)
- Wet Wipes
and so much more! In total we put together 21 bags ready for the 18th December, plus we had a trolley full of clothing, shoes and some sleeping bags.
The 17th December was a hectic one, with Nanny Kim coming over to help sort out the bags. We worked hard dividing up the various items and making sure each bag had the right items inside.
The Big Day
On the 18th December we woke up with excitement in our bellies. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious and we were immediately concerned about how the day would work handing out bags in the pouring rain. We loaded the van and headed to Cardiff to meet the lovely family from The Rapley Blog and begin our hand out.
We started at 11am at Capitol Shopping Centre. We met a pregnant lady, several men who needed coats, a young boy who looked lost and scared, a beautiful couple who cried about the donations, people with dogs, people who didn’t speak or want to chat and others who really needed to talk.
George and Molly were animated and interested, and super keen to hand out bags. They were also soaked to the bone and continued to hand things out until 3pm. We all skipped lunch, we walked from St Davids 2 car park to Capitol then around that area before heading down Queen Street. We headed back for bags and more specific items and then came out of St David’s near Cardiff Story to check out the area around the market. We then headed back onto Queen Street and then under the underpass towards the museum and around this area, then back into town and towards the Atrium, after this we walked past Porters and back towards St David’s, handing our final bag to a young man who was crying outside the shopping centre.
We were soaking wet, with puddles in our shoes and frozen fingers. Our layers of clothing were soaked through and we were hungry. But, despite all this, nobody moaned. We’d seen people on the streets, living in tents, being shunned, hungry, tired, sad, grateful for the things we were giving them. How could we possibly feel sorry for ourselves when we knew we’d be home and dry that very night?
We eventually grabbed some food, got home and dry and all I can say is, we felt incredibly lucky. The next day we headed out to drop off the final bag to a young girl living in Bute Park in a tent. It was at this point I began to feel a bit useless.
Was a bag of stuff really enough?
Of course it’s not enough. It won’t change their lives, it won’t give them a roof over their heads, but it will make those next few days or weeks a little easier whilst living on the cold, dark streets of Cardiff. It’s enough for the people we met to know we all care, to know we were there thinking and hoping for them, and most importantly, it’s enough to keep their faith in humankind…
And for this, we thank you. Thank you to everyone who got involved, thank you for your donations, your kind words and your support.
I also want to say a massive thank you to my children, because they were amazing. They were selfless and kind and thoughtful, and I feel so proud to be able to see their huge hearts in action.