Christmas Day has a special magic for each one of us – there is a sense of love that surrounds the day. Families come together. People fly in from all over the country to catch up. There are meals, celebrations and presents, but imagine if you didn’t have any of that. Imagine if you faced Christmas alone.
Thousands of poor and homeless Sydneysiders would face a bleak Christmas were it not for kindhearted people like you. Your support means me and my team can share the festive spirit with them at our big, free Christmas Day lunch.
We’ll serve thousands of traditional Christmas meals under our marquee in Ashfield. There will be ham and turkey, as well as Christmas pudding and bon-bons. It’s a remarkable event and something you’ve helped create.
My mate Tom is a Christmas miracle
I’ve seen so many Christmas miracles since I first put on a lunch for the homeless back in 1971. Mostly they are about love and sharing, but they are also about new beginnings.
This year, Tom has had a fresh start thanks to the support of people like you. He had been homeless for over 20 years, but recently me and my team were able to find him a home.
After he’d moved in, I asked Tom what he was most glad about. “I’m not cold and sleeping under a wet blanket”, he said. On Christmas Day I’ll save a place for Tom under our big marquee and we’ll celebrate his new life.
Sadly, there are still lots of rough sleepers who will rely on us this Christmas. I strongly believe that giving a homeless, hungry person a traditional Christmas lunch says something important about us as a community. It loudly states that homeless people do matter. They matter as much as you or I.
Taking our Christmas meals on the road
This year I am thrilled to let you know that our food vans will be taking hot Christmas meals to the streets and the park benches where the homeless and the needy live.
Our food vans will enable us to share the spirit of Christmas with even more rough sleepers and forgotten Sydneysiders. Your ongoing support will enable this to happen.
Helping make Christmas special for the kids
Every woman wants to make Christmas special for her children. That’s why I always keep an eye out for them at our Christmas Day lunch. These struggling families turn to us for help. Of course Santa is there to give the kids presents! To see the joy on a little girl’s face when she unwraps a gift is magic. In my mind it’s more than just special, it’s an affirmation that in spite of her circumstances – she matters.
This Christmas my spirits will soar for another reason too. One of the first homeless kids I took in all those years ago came to me the other day to have her children baptised. From sleeping in the pews of my church to having a family of her own, that’s what your support has helped make real. When her family celebrates on Christmas Day all heaven will sing!
I wish you could be with me on Christmas Day to see the miracles that happen. Magical moments like when a poor child receives a special toy or when long lost relatives catch up. Other times it’s the look on the face of a rough sleeper savouring some delicious Christmas ham.
All this can only happen with your generous support. Without you, the poor and the homeless will miss out this Christmas. I pray you have a great Christmas and that you can share some of your kindness with those less fortunate. Your generous donation can bring the spirit of Christmas to thousands, so please give generously.
Rev. Bill Crews