Birmingham Food Drive – it’s time to join our step-up city
After seeing council leader Cllr John Clancy visit a number of groups helping Birmingham’s homeless on New year’s Day, volunteer Carl Madden was inspired to highlight an important event taking place in the city centre this weekend: The fifth annual Birmingham Food Drive
Carl wrote: I have been a volunteer for Birmingham Food Drive for a while now, I’ve seen first hand what a positive effect community groups coming together can have.
Seeing city council leader John Clancy take time out of the holiday period to actually go out and thank these people, without a political agenda, not as a press photo opportunity, but as a genuine human being was amazing. Having met a lot of the people he thanked, doing what they do first hand, I really think it will have positive ripples for everyone. A positive change seems to be happening to Birmingham.
So if you too were inspired by Cllr Clancy’s visit and want to help, join us at Carrs Lane Church on Saturday 9 January.
The Birmingham Food Drive events bring different community groups of all faiths and walks of life come together to give food, clothes, hair cuts and support to the homeless of Birmingham.
For me, volunteering has been an extremely humbling and rewarding experience, the people you meet and their gratitude for the help given is so heartfelt, their stories are both shocking and heartbreaking and it could be any of us at some point in our lives – that’s why what all the community groups do day in, day out based purely on helping another human being that has fallen on hard times, makes such a difference.
At the last event in December, a man came in looking like he had been living rough for a long time, I saw him a few hours later and hardly recognised him, he’d had a shave and a hair cut, new clothes and some hot food and drinks and a food parcel to take away. He said to me ‘what do you think?’ I said he looked sharp, he was about 6’3, looked like an ex-boxer, he gave me a massive hug and said ‘thankyou’.
He continued by saying that he didn’t feel ashamed anymore, of the way he looked, we sat and talked for a while, he told me that after the death of his daughter he lost his will to carry on and ended up on the streets with his brother. After 13 years together on the streets, moving from city to city, his brother had died 2 months ago from hypothermia, tears welled up in this big man’s eyes, and mine.
He had discussed with people at the event about getting help to get somewhere to stay and was so grateful. As I left the event after a very long day, I saw him walking down the road in a Santa hat singing as he walked.
I have met so many inspirational people whilst volunteering, there are more homeless people on the streets of Birmingham every week, luckily there are people out there doing all they can to make a difference, they really deserve more recognition and support for what they do.
The first Birmingham Food Drive of 2016 – 9 January
Various individuals, volunteers, groups and organisations are coming together on Saturday 9th January, 2016, to prepare, pack and distribute food, blankets, toiletries and warm clothes to those in need in Birmingham city centre.
Activities will begin from 12pm and continue through the evening until around 5pm at Carrs Lane Church in Birmingham city centre.
Volunteers can participate at any point throughout the day and help. Preparations at the venue will begin at 9am, before food distribution at 12pm.
There will be hot cooked food prepared for distribution as well as packed cold foods and snacks.
We primarily need ‘many hands to make light work’ but anyone wishing to donate food and other items is more than welcome to if they wish.
This is the fifth annual Birmingham Food Drive and an open event where anyone can volunteer to join in to help.
For more details go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/1224909844191958/