United Kingdom, December 2022

The volunteers from the Holosophic Society UK have worked with two well established charities over the past two years – the last charity action was organized in April 2022 – building a strong and trusting relationship with them. When we contacted One Roof Leicester and Open Hands, local charities supporting homeless people and people facing hard times, about their needs, they responded almost immediately with a list of items for the current period.

Items included everyday essentials like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soaps, deodorants, shaving razors, detergents, washing sponges, etc. Additionally, there was the usual list of pots, pans, cutlery, knives, pillows, duvets, cleaning mops, and buckets for the people being re-homed as part of their integration back into the community.

Volunteers took the lists and visited wholesale stores to get the best value by buying in bulk. This was a new experience given the scale of donation being made which needed buying items in bulk. It was an exciting phase recognizing that the organization was able to do so much more, but still so much more is required to support people in need.

The new chosen venue was the Knighton Parish Centre based in Leicester. At midday the volunteers arrived and unloaded the various items to wrap from their cars. The lounge room, where the packaging and wrapping of the items took place, was nice and warm with the heating on because it was a particularly cold day. Tables were set up and various workstations were available with stickers, scissors and pens. The volunteers cheerfully wrapped the items although there were quiet moments of reflection during the task.

The wrapped items were stacked onto a table at the back and after an hour or so the volunteers decided to have a lunch break. Following a nourishing lunch that included samosas and cake as well as biriyani rice, the volunteers resumed work and completed wrapping the items in brown parcel paper. It was an intense day where the volunteers worked hard knowing it was all for a good cause.

After gathering the various uniformly wrapped packages of essential items, the volunteers arranged two drop off sessions to each organization. When presented with the number and variety of items being donated, the organizations were surprised and delighted. The collaborative effort between the HSUK volunteers and the One Roof team was beautiful to observe, knowing both organizations were making a difference in the community.

The two charities were extremely grateful we had taken the time and gave thought to our donations, especially as we had collected items that were most needed to support individuals and families during these challenging times.