Wow!! My friends who are giving me Christmas presents by proxy, by giving things to homeless people, alerted me to something FABULOUS that I’m so excited to be involved in.
This is The Rucksack Project.
It’s a beautiful idea. Start shopping at charity shops and second-hand shops. Look out for the following items: a large rucksack, a sleeping bag, a fleece jacket, a thermos flask. That’s what you need to start you off. When you have those items, add to the rucksack:
- woolly hat
- pair of socks
- a spoon
- a few tins of soup, make sure they have ring pulls, easy to open.
- don’t forget to include a Dear Police Officer slip that you can print off from the Rucksack Project website (you can see mine below). You need this because it keeps suspicious coppers from wondering where the homeless person came by all this fab stuff you just gave them.
Other items that you might think about including, I certainly have spares of these things in my house because I travel a lot:
- travel size or hotel size toiletries – I have a bunch of things; soap, moisturiser, lip balm
Still other suggestions:
- other food items
- first aid items
- rolling tobacco
- pet food
- bivi bag (a plastic sleeve for a sleeping bag)
All set? Get out there, find a homeless person and hand over that rucksack. Make someone’s day. If you don’t want to go out and search for someone homeless, take it to your nearest homeless shelter or check the Rucksack Project website for a local event: communities often have collection events where lots of people turn up with rucksacks, how exciting that must be. An online friend of mine said she went to one and they received so many rucksacks they didn’t have room for them all and the next year they had to hire a larger venue. I think that’s wonderful. If every country had more sleeping bags and survival-kit rucksacks than it had homeless people, that would be really amazing and a step forward for humanity.
As you know, I am ruthlessly decluttering my house AGAIN tonight and I was thrilled to find an unused and unwanted rucksack in my spare room! I immediately started filling it up. So exciting! What I can’t rustle up at a moment’s notice is a fleece jacket or a sleeping bag because I don’t have those things lying around my house, although I will certainly start looking in charity shops for them from now on, but I had SO MUCH other great stuff that someone homeless would probably love, at least, that’s what we hope. In the bag it all went. I think I just assembled a totally great Christmas present for a homeless woman. All the things you see here were things I already had at home and could easily spare, except for the socks and knickers for which I quickly ran out to the supermarket. Look! I have meetings in central London on Wednesday and I am going to take this into town with me, find a woman in need and hand it over to her. Merry Christmas! I am stoked!