Earlier today, as Sussex ground to a halt because of overnight snow, I tweeted about the Amazon wish list for First Base Day Centre. The most surprising item on the wish list is for sun protection lotion, probably the thing furthest from most people’s thoughts as they slipped and slid into work this morning.
The serious point, of course, is that homeless people are at far greater risk of getting skin cancer than the rest of the population given their exposure to the elements.
The wish list, which can be found here, has a load more items that are very relevant during periods of severe cold. I spent a few minutes this morning looking at what has already been bought by our supporters from the wish list in the last few weeks:
- 21 fleece jackets
- 4 pairs of thermal long johns
- 7 thermal vests
- 54 pairs of thermal socks
- 2 sleeping bags
- 5 waterproof jackets
- 21 toothbrushes
- 12 tubes of toothpaste
- as well as a whole range of other one off items essential for the work of First Based Day Centre.
Thank you to all those who have helped people keep dry, warm and clean.
I also this morning read a report, published in Digital Donor Review, that showed that only 5% of charitable donations are made through sites such as Facebook and Twitter, even though 30% of respondents said they were inspired to give by social media.
The First Base wish list shows that people like giving in different ways. At BHT we are fortunate to have some extremely generous benefactors who support our work year on year, those who leave a bequest to BHT in their Wills, and those who support us on the ad hoc basis, although many do so on a regular basis in response to appeals, not least at Christmas time.
BHT is extremely fortunate to have secured a large number of contracts from national and local government, and we are successful in bidding of charitable funds, such as those from the Big Lottery. However, it is the support of ordinary men and women that makes a real difference in the work we tend to.
From the list above, there are many items that we take for granted. But for somebody sleeping on the streets of our towns and cities, having dry and warm clothes is important as is their ability to wash their face and clean their teeth.