Giving homeless people the gift of dignity for Christmas
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Cape Town - A 25-year-old woman has spent the last four Christmases bringing the gift of dignity to the homeless of Heathfield and the surrounding areas by collecting and then handing out what she calls Homeless Christmas Bags packed with personal hygiene products.
This Christmas past, Jodi Currie, a resident of Heathfield delivered 63 of her dignity packages made up of items including Toothpaste, Soap and Deodorant and spent time chatting with the homeless and finding out their other needs.
Curie said, “The project began in 2016. Ii always wanted to do something for the homeless but I didn't know what exactly and then one time at work we started collecting hygiene goods for a shelter and that is when I made up my mind that I want to donate homeless hygiene packs.”
“Basically around November month each year I make a poster and post it in every social media group I am in as well as on Facebook, WhatsApp and hope for the best. It costs R100 maximum for a full bag,” said Currie.
With help from her friends, family and the odd Good Samaritan, Currie said, “I budget and put money away to make provisions so I can still hand out my parcels even if people don't donate anything or if I'm short a few items.”
“This is my way of giving back to the community and I do it because I have nothing to lose. However, I have something to gain, which is the smile on their faces which is priceless,” said Currie.
Jodi Currie (in the black T-shirt) with some of the homeless people she took care of over the Christmas holidays. Picture: Supplied
Towards the end of December the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department encouraged residents to ‘Give Dignity’ with a campaign, which allowed the public to drop off donations intended for street people at their local library.
The City's Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, said “There is no doubt this vulnerable group needs assistance on many levels and at this time of year when everyone is in the spirit of giving we want to emphasise a hand up rather than a handout.”