It is with a touch of pride that I can report that Open Gates had a Christmas dinner for the homeless. “All good and well” I hear the voice of goodwill calling in the background with compassion. But the story is a wee bit different when I tell you I was approached by Brogan (she is our part time cafe manageress) who had conspired with a number of our Community Payback Order users and volunteers to have a lunch with a difference.
That difference was not the lovely meal (by Declan), neither was it the gift bags with hat, gloves, and things along with a supply of Shloer supplied and served by Simon (Tilney Investments director). Neither was it the back packs with all sorts of toiletries and goodies from Redspire Dynamics. No, it was when I stood back and looked at the CPO’s, a company director, two part time Cafe Walt employees and a mixture of volunteers and family that did it for me.It had become one family.
For all I could see was, conversation, a lot of eating and a ton of laughter coming from a group who for an hour or two where enjoying a meal together. Our trainee chef was delighted when he saw the left overs of his meal quickly disappear into take away cartons for later consumption.
So here is where the pride comes in as the cleaning up began; I saw and heard the homeless men offering to help clean up. A good and enjoyable day with a utube film to be put on this site next week.
It was enjoyed by us all at a time that should be replicated daily.