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.



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Grant the Polite Guy
Grant Richards
0142 190 011
grantthepoliteguy@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. I commend you on turning your life back around! I'm happy to hear about your work with the Big Issue. I currently write a blog, 123youoverme.wordpress.com, and came across articles about the Big Issue when writing a blog post. Although I've known for a long time that the Big Issue was created to allow many of the homeless or disadvantaged to have jobs and earn their own money by working, I didn't really know many of the stories behind the vendors. I now know that the lives of the homeless are actually more complex than they look, homelessness can happen to anyone, even the best of people! But it's really how you pick yourself back up after it happens that is the most important stage.
    Where will be your next event?
    I completely agree with you that it should be the real 'Aussie' spirit in coming together and helping out a person when they're in need or have hit hard times. Our country really does need more people out there that don't overlook the complexities of homeless.

    Jennifer C

    ReplyDelete