Saturday, September 26, 2015

So Proud

I was just sitting here thinking, feeling very proud of myself. Yes I was very successful in life before my accident that put me in and out of hospitals for 9 months. I lost everything including my home, family and became homeless. But I’m more proud of the fact that I have in my eyes turned everything around.

I started selling Big Issue magazines instead of going on Disability pension. I started helping other homeless along the way even when times were tough for me, buying food and things for others when I had extra money.

I am proud to say I have made some incredible friends selling the Big Issue and together we started doing free food, clothes and toiletries at the park for other homeless  and people in need.  400 turned up at our first event.

We kept doing our Homeless BBQ’s every 8 weeks for about 5 years now and they have gotten bigger. Every event I didn’t know if we would get all the food, clothes and toiletries to hand out for free but we did it. Not one coin is exchanged at our events, except if a homeless gets a job on the day, then I grab a hat and race around to all the volunteers and ask for tips to helping pay for work clothes, accommodation, money on Go-cards for travel, lots of food and things like that. But a lot of times I try to save my money from selling mags to pay for it without passing the hat.

With smart people doing all the work we started a non for profit charity called “Signal Flare” which I still have not figured out how to get it big enough to receive a wage for all the great work I do haha

As I said we do these events every 8 weeks, the next event is going to be the hardest and biggest one yet. 10th of October at Musgrave Park 10am – 2pm. You see I understand that a lot of homeless and people in need have mental health issues so at this event we are going to be doing a joint event with “Sanity Fair” which helps brings all the Mental Health services there.

There’s a lot of things I still don’t know how we are going to do it, this will be huge. But I know quitting or canceling the event will never happen. It’ll come together. Volunteers needing that’s for sure.

Homeless will be able to get free food, clothes, toiletries, blankets, kids toys and much more while seeing what all the mental health services do as a service. Now this is going to help a lot of people.

I have often said I don’t do all this, it’s the community coming together to do the “Aussie Mate” thing and offer to help a person when they need a hand up. Everyone hits hard times.

I have been invited to at least 50+ weddings from people that have got on their feet, meet someone and thought enough of me to invite, some even asked for me to be ‘Best Man’

We have had employers come to these events just to offer a homeless person a new start and give them a job which is awesome, yes I have been offered to but with my injuries and things I would only be letting the employer down, beside I’d rather help someone else.

I see so much good karma coming back in my own way, you see I was very unwell and spent time in hospital, so many people came to visit me, homeless and working people that I thought at one stage I might have to do a rooster for visit times. Haha

Best of all why I’m feeling so proud right now. I see so many smiles and get so many Thank You’s that I know I have made a difference.

Thank you very much for reading my blog and I hope you all have an awesome day. If you like my writing please donate using the "Donation Button" at the top left of the screen.

Grant the Polite Guy
Grant Richards
0142 190 011

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cherbourg needs our help.

Well a week ago we did our “Homeless and People in Need BBQ” for the town of Cherbourg. I remember thinking of how proud I was, because all we did is put the word out there about Cherbourg being in need. People gave up their weekends to travel hundreds of kms each way to help people they had never even meet, each paying their own expenses. Most staying in caravans, tents etc to get the early start Sunday morning. All heart and I’m proud to say their friends/mates I want to know in life.

Around 900 Aboriginal People of Cherbourg came and got free food, clothes, toiletries, school stationery, blankets and the thing that brought a proud smile was the around two full trailers full of kids toys. Watching some of these kids getting the toys and thinking it was just like Christmas Day made me feel good and sad at the same time. You see I kept thinking of these people are so poor that on Christmas Day is there any presents for the kids. Not one toy was left. But just up a bit all these kids started playing with these balls and toys. The biggest smiles showing all day.

We helped families with boxes of food to take home and everything not taken was handed to the closest church for them to hold and hand out for free to others when they need them.

I’m writing this post with a lot heart because these people effected me that much. To be honest everyone I meet was polite and not one person was greedy, they took only what they very much needed and let others have as well. For me the perfect BBQ.

I have always said the people in need are not the only ones getting help at our BBQ’s, the people helping like me feel a pleasure at heart for being able to help someone in such need. People in need thankful for the help and the helpers thankful for being there to help. All heart.

While the BBQ event was going I took some time out to speak to some of the Aboriginal Elders and people from the community to ask what Signal Flare could do to help in a bigger way ongoing. Nearly all talked about how there wasn’t hope because with nearly 2,000 people in town and thousand nearby and only a few jobs going. The fact was we could only see one shop in the whole town and that was a cafe. Very heartbreaking to hear.

The event finished and we left Sunday afternoon, Bernie “Bernie the Polite Girl” and I stayed up late talking about how we could help more and in a bigger way, we really felt for these people doing it so tough here in Australia. 9am we called the council to plan a meeting, 10am Tuesday we had the heads of the council meeting us in their meeting room to discuss what more we could do.

It’s hard to believe but one of the first things they mentioned was the kids don’t own bikes. Now don’t get me wrong but I thought being a child it meant they get to experience such joys as learning to ride a bike and of course crashing haha.  

Right away we said we would do an appeal asking everyone we know to donate any used bikes they never use anymore. They said they would help by bringing in locals that teaches the kids how to repair them. So you got it, at the end of this post I’m asking you if you have old bikes you don’t use anymore to give to a child that may never have had one.

They mentioned their one and only shop in the town saying it needed fixingup/ upgrading which would mean they could employ an extra one or two people if bigger. We asked how much? $5,000

We chatted about other projects but said let’s start by getting these two done first.

Who would have thought I started homeless here in this blog and now I’m talking about helping a whole town. Yes very proud of myself, I just wish my own health wasn’t so bad and stopping me from working myself.

So here’s the ending and plea, if you have any old bikes, helmets or repair kits you never want to see again please donate them so we may give them to kids that some have never had a bike in their lives. Let their childhood be of happy memories which a lot of us think should be a right for every child. Go to

Please help us to raise the $5,000 to help their one and only shop to repair and grow, employing new staff, giving an employment opportunity to someone praying for a job in a jobless community.

Signal Flare is a Not for Profit and does not employ anyone, 100% of all money goes directly to helping people.

Bank Details for ‘Signal Flare’
Bank: BOQ

BSB: 124-001

ACC: 22066259

For a Tax Deductable Receipt email “Helena” at


Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you all have an awesome day. If you like my writing and things I do please donate at the top left hand side of this screen.

Grant the Polite Guy

Grant Richards

0412 190 011

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cherbourg BBQ

Two weeks ago we did another awesome successful Homeless and People in Need BBQ helping hundreds in Ipswich, with free clothes, food, toiletries, blankets and much more.

Then I had a breakdown and was admitted to Mental Ward for 7 days. I help a lot of people and I'm sorry and proud to say I suffer from Depression, I want to write this because there's many out there like me that think their to tough or scared to tell someone. Truth is not telling a doctor can set you up for a breakdown which I had. I would never wish that on anyone.

Now I could tell a horrific story about why I get depressed, but it effects all types of people for different reasons.

Once I was in hospital and dealing with it I started getting better, you will too. But don't leave it too late like I did, I couldn't work while in hospital and still days after leaving the hospital have shakes and my mind is scattered at times, maybe weeks without working and no income. So be smart and get the help if you need it.

But that won't slow me down. Haha I'll do what I can when I can, which brings me to our next Homeless and People in Need BBQ which we are doing in less then 3 weeks.

Here we go again, but this time we are going to a town in the outback that's asking for help, Cherbourg asked Connected for help and they have asked us to hold one of our Homeless and People in Need BBQ's up there to give to people in great need some clothes, toiletries, blankets, food and much more.

I contacted the council and looked up the web and learned what a horrific history this town has, around 1900 families from many different tribes and languages around the whole of Queensland were moved to a new area Cherbourg and it was punishable to use their own language and could only use English.

Signal Flare has always stated we are the community coming together to help those in need. Well let me tell you after what I've learnt we are NEEDED and were saying “WHO'S WITH US”

Cherbourg is 5-6 hrs drive North-West of Brisbane. Population of about 2,000 people and is a Alcohol free zone. That means us too.

We are doing this event on Sunday the 28th of June (so less then 3 weeks people) we will be giving FREE food (BBQ and salad), clothes (men's, ladies, kids and baby), blankets, LOT's of Toiletries (much needed) kids toys and bikes.

I asked what is most needed, answer “Kids books, stationery for school and toiletries”. I'm going to see if I can get some computers donated too.

Because they are so grateful they want to do a Aboriginal dance for us before the event starts. AWESOME.

Please all share, we NEED a small truck, lot's of trailers, vans and cars, helpers, food, all the clothes you never want to see again, hygiene and toiletries, blankets everything for kids including books your kids don't read anymore plus school stationery. Let's show that the community cares and comes together and help a town that's needing and asking for help.

A lot will be staying overnight outside town in a caravan site which we can help with bookings.

All things not taken on the day will be given to their church for handing out for free as needed.

This event will help a lot of people and an event to remember.

For more info please go to or contact me. 

Thank you very much for reading my blog and I hope you all have an awesome day, if you like my writing or what I do I have a donation button top left of screen.

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Storm Damage

Okay people I have an SOS.

A lot of people got effected by the bad storms/weather we have had in the last few days and I've been contacted by too many people for help, which is good because I get to help more people but bad because I'm only one guy.

But I'm writing this post about a lady hitting hard times that I have helped in the past and truly is still an inspiration to me and I'll tell you why.

This lady worked all her life as a nurse helping others and even spending huge amounts of unpaid hours with patients because she is that sort of person. One day she had a heart attack, soon after going to hospital for deep depression and losing her partner of about 14yrs meaning she was left with the house payments and two kids to look after.

The depression took a huge part of her life away and it wasn't long before she lost her valued job which was hard because it was one of the things that gave her joy.

Now I'm sad to say that the depression got worst with the fact of everything going down hill and her Centrelink payments didn't even cover her mortgage repayments let alone schooling and food etc.

Now don't get me wrong this lady and I have had many of sit-downs (Pie and Cokes) with and I very much understand why she has went without so much to juggle everything around to keep her home.

This lady called to say she was in trouble, the storms we had over the last few days has caused serious inside/outside water damage to her home, I hate to say this but something happening to a person already going through such hard times is like pushing them over the edge of even worst depression.

This is a good person, yes with a few problems, but a person.

I know after this she is going to sell the house for a lost I believe.

My SOS is for things to make her home a home. I have used all my money to help others already this weekend going through tough times already. But she is only asking for a few things.

Undercoat paint / waterproof $72.90

Two light fittings needing replaced $19.90 each

couple of trailer loads of soil or dirt because of storm damage

13 metres of guttering.

Cleaning products.

I'm hoping some of you might be able to do one of these, as I said this is a good person just going through very tough times and I'd like to show her that the community is standing by her to help because that's the Aussie way.

To help please call me on 0412 190 011.

Thank you very much for reading my blog and I hope you have a great day. If you like my writing and things I do please donate using the donation button.

Grant the Polite Guy

Grant Richards

0412 190 011

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Shoplifting with heart

I normally write uplifting posts, but today something happened and even though I have seen this before I find myself fighting back the tears all morning and as I write this.

It’s hard to start writing this because everything happened so fast, but I’ll start as I walked into the shopping centre.

It was around 8:30am and raining so I wasn’t selling my Big Issue magazines, I decided to go to my local shopping centre for a packet of smokes, food and things.

As I walked through the centre I noticed a boy walking differently, his head right down as if trying to hide while walking fast past me and heading for the exit doors, I remembered him as he was a son of a family I helped about 3 years ago with food and a double bed (if I remember right).

As he reached the glass sliding doors two men ran past me yelling for the boy to stop and caught up to him very quickly. They opened his backpack, searched and then took hold of the boy each holding and arm and walking him past me and to the shop. (I don’t want to name the store because of what happens).

Now I’m not stupid, I knew right away from what I saw he had just been caught for shoplifting. I remembered thinking what a shame the kid was younger then my little girl who is 12 year old, but I knew he came from a poor family and felt sorry for him.

I was shopping in the store when I came across one of the guys that had caught the boy, I asked “Mate I know the family I helped them a few years ago, if you don’t mind me asking what was he stealing” this guy replied “exercise books, pens and  things like that”

I have to say my mind raced a thousand miles an hour and right away I thought school had just started and he was stealing school supplies because his parents didn’t.

There was a few more words said but in the end I asked to speak to the manager talking to him.

The manager told me they were not charging him because of his age but was barring him from the store for life. I asked the manager to keep whatever he took in a bag and I would buy all of it if it was for school. Next thing I know the boy and I are talking and I asked what he took and why? In a very nice manner,  I did this because if it wasn’t for school then I’d walk away. He pulled out all these stationery supplies and said these were from him for school, but not all the items in the bag, I asked what about the other things left? What he said next made me angry and feeling so sorry for him I wanted to cry, he said “My sister and I get teased at school so I got them for her” it wasn’t just what he said it was the way he said it, he was angry, sad and embarrassed about stealing.  I couldn’t count how many times he said “sorry”.

Kids tease these kids for being poor or having well let’s just say their parents couldn’t  because of income or have some addiction and didn’t get them the same items as other kids at their school.

This broke my heart. Okay now I am tearing up as I write this.

At the time trying not to tear up I took him straight to the cashier and placed everything he tried to steal on the counter and kept telling him I’m going to get everything you need but you have to do something for me and that’s you have to do your best to get A’s on you report card. He kept thanking me and trying to convince me he was a good kid.

I’m embarrassed to write this next bit but it’ll show you all why I help people and why it brings tears writing it.

The checkout lady scanned everything and it came to a total of $63 and change, when she said that I felt so bad because I have nothing in the bank and only $57and change on me. I turned to the boy and said I didn’t have enough and I’m sorry but he would have to put a few things back. He looked very sad, but started picking items to put back, the thing that got me was he never picked one item that was for his sister.

Now you see why this is effecting me so much. I’m sorry to write such a bad posting but really if you look at it like I do it’s inspirational, this boy is teased at school for being poor and when asked to put something back he still gets everything for his sister.  This kid is an inspiration to me.

P.S Today I quit smoking.

Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you have a great day.

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Monday, January 26, 2015

How to help Homeless

I think some or a lot of people get things wrong when thinking of helping Homeless or People in Need. I have gotten so many times people saying “I want to help, but what do I say or how should I say it?”

Bernie the Polite Girl and I just helped a girl to get on her feet in a huge way, then on the way home I got a call asking that very question in a round about way. I must say I shake my head sometimes and think how wrong this is.

Firstly I’m going to say something I say often, “Homeless People” is just words for someone going through tough times and for some or a lot they have given up on themselves , but if you take the word “Homeless” you are left with the one word “People”. The same people you could be sit next to on a bus or even someone you work with. What I’m trying to say is a lot of Homeless I’ve meet and there’s been a lot have had regular lives but something happen and they ended up in a downward spiral to become homeless.

This may sound harsh but imagine a family member hitting hard times and not asking for help or NOT getting it and become Homeless, how would you like others to see or treat them? I guess I’m saying when asking how to talk to a person that’s Homeless think about how you would talk to your best friend that hit hard times. They are people.

Now I really hope that helped and some of you will start thinking of Homeless differently.

I’m going to write about a female I meet last week, I had walked past her and to me it seemed clear she was having a really bad day, I politely asked her if she was okay and quickly started a chat about how hot the weather is, within minutes I learnt how she moved from NSW last week to escape a horrible violent relationship and had left with a small bag. I talked about different services around for her but quickly felt trust was a problem. So I did what I do best offered to buy her a cup of coffee and gave her a card with my phone number and said to call anytime she needed a friend, because we are now “Best Friends” because I was the only person she knew in Brisbane, (with a smile and joking) but before I left I said I’d help her to get on her feet as long as she helped herself as well.

She called and I was so happy that she trusted me. I called Bernie the Polite Girl straight away because everyone knows females relate to females better, it’s a girlie thing haha.

This girl is staying in a Lodge but I’m proud to say she is starting her NEW job tomorrow, Bernie and I meet up with her today all excited, we sat eating lunch while talking about her new start in life and what was next. To our surprise she said she has 20hrs a week work BUT she asked for help getting weekend work so she may get on her feet faster. This girl could have easily hit harder times being Homeless but a few coffees and a helping hand from Bernie and I things are looking awesome.

Excited about her getting a new job Bernie and I put enough money on her Go-Card to get to work, food for work and lodge, much needed toiletries including female pads which we get asked a lot for because there needed so much when needed.

Both females got excited about going clothes shopping which I put my head down and tried to hide so I not invited haha

Before Bernie and I left she kept saying thank you and what could she do to repay what we were doing, Bernie said the same she always says “When you get on your feet, like really on your feet, do the same for someone else that really needs it” I have no doubt that she will help someone else in the future after she gets on her feet.

But I haven’t told you the best part, this girl was so thankful that within the first hour of leaving I got 3 thank you texts. I have to say reading them and knowing we done good was worth all the time, money and effort helping her. I know I’ll be seeing her a lot over the next few weeks just to be there for her as a friends mostly, but I look forward to seeing her stand proud again.

Now I didn’t write this so people will think I’m awesome. I wrote this so people can see how easy it is to really make a difference to someone’s life. There is people everywhere needing help, other people’s family members.

If you want to know how to help the Homeless, here’s a great start, say “Hi”

Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you have a great day. If you like my writing or what I do to help others please donate using the donation button.

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Morning.

What an awesome day, I woke about 4am and dropped at the front door presents and things for kids and parents of 3 families then went to my parents house for the early morning presents opening at Petrie including watching my Princess wide eyed and smiling while opening hers. (Still brings a tear of joy)
I dropped wife and daughter to her side of family party and eagerly went to New Farm Park and started handing out toiletries packs and 32 diaries for next year because they didn't know it yet but when they get on their feet they will need to organize there time and appointments, some laughed and a few beamed with a look like what I was saying will happen. Thinking they have more worth in themselves is an awesome start and out-look. I enjoyed the chat and left knowing new friends.
Now it's 3:49pm and I'd like to say I'm doing more but instead I have a unit to myself and I'm putting my feet up and enjoy some nice music, lots of beer and a smile knowing today was a great day.
Christmas to me is all about family and friends coming together, but please take a second to remember that that's in most cases the one thing homeless miss the most. So if you see someone alone or homeless maybe saying "Hi" might really make their day.
Grant the Polite Guy