20 December 2013
Hoodies for the homeless
For many of us Christmas day means being with family, cosy homes, a full house, presents and a dinner table overflowing with food. However, for some people this is far from the case.
We don't have to travel far to see homeless people on our streets. For many, the reality of Christmas will be a cold pavement, maybe some food if they are fortunate and only strangers walking by as company.
This year Belfast-based Christian company Christianhood decided to give Christmas presents which make a difference.
Christianhood designs, prints and embroiders clothing for Christian organisations, conferences, charities, Christian unions, and churches. Through their sales they support mission projects.
So far Christianhood has supported people engaged in mission by financial giving and regular prayer but this year they decided to get practical with their own products.
Founder and managing director of the organisation, Laura McGrath, was wondering what to do with left-over garments and decided to use them to support people who really need help. The Hoodies for the Homeless idea was born as Christianhood's Christmas mission.
Christianhood chose to work with Christian charities that already have regular contact with homeless people, so they could support them in their work. The company are keen for the gospel to be central so, when wrapping the hoodies, they placed a gospel booklet called Christmas In Three Words inside each one
"It took some effort to get in touch with different charities who were willing to let us put gospel booklets in the packages," said Laura. "However, one Friday morning we made phone calls to projects - Touching Lives in Belfast, Aslan at All Souls, London and a Foodbank in Bangor - who were not only very happy to receive the products, but said the phone call could not have come at a better time."
"One lady was about to go out that afternoon to order some cheaper hats and scarves as presents for people living on the streets because funds were low. Another had no idea how she was going to afford to give a gift to the homeless people this year as her charity shop had closed due to low funds. She'd been praying just the night before about what to do.It was amazing to see how God used a very practical product that Christianhood sells every day to be an answer to other people's prayers."
The Aslan project reported that the homeless hoodie distribution and event at All Souls, London was a big success.
Laura continued: "This is a very practical gift this Christmas, but please join Christianhood in praying that through the booklets people will see that Jesus is the greatest gift. and loves each one of them.
"Look out for our hoodies all over London, Belfast and Bangor and join us in praying that God will work through this project to bless and encourage both homeless people and those working with them."