We have a lot of pictures like the one above, showing a volunteer doing something for a worker, in this case, registering him for our free meals programme (Cuff Road Project). Indeed, our volunteers are often very busy. Without them, much of our work simply couldn’t be done.
But this photo was unusual because the camera was actually focussed on something else in the foreground. Here is the full picture:
Apples and bananas.
It is a little bit embarrassing but we too seldom highlight the many gestures of support we get from people coming around and donating something to workers. The evening that this photo was taken, for example, boxes and boxes of apples and bananas came in. We don’t even have a record of who was donating these, nor most other things on other nights. We’d love to tell you who donated what and when, but alas, we’re often too busy answering questions from the 250 workers who eat with us on a typical night to be writing up even more records than we already do.
The quiet, almost anonymous way in which members of the public bring and donate things is very heart-warming. They don’t want the publicity. They just want to help — in the true spirit of giving.
At right is another evening, this one where someone brought in cartons upon cartons of clothes. Our workers hauled two extra tables from TWC2 Dayspace down to the streetside so that we could lay out the clothes for workers to take as they please. They also took the trouble to lay the garments out neatly so that they would look their best.
Like so many other occasions, nobody seemed to know who was donating the clothes. They only knew that the gesture was very much appreciated.
A new volunteer once remarked, “The Bangla boys are always spiffily dressed, yet from their case histories, they’re all broke and waiting for settlement.”
It’s not because they have the money to buy nice clothes. These are often generous donations. And they are important: No matter how difficult his circumstances are, you never want to rob anybody of his dignity.
The above was hardly the only occasion when people brought in nice clothes. At left is another evening. This time we can recall who the donors were: members of St Ignatius Church.
This group has supported TWC2 for years. They make collections among themselves and come by regularly to give something to the men who eat with us. Theirs is an act of charity across boundaries of ethnicity, nationality and religion; they only recognise that those in need are human like us all.
The members of St Ignatius Church give different things on different occasions. In the picture below, they’re giving out snacks — the green packet contains murukku.
There have been several occasions when large bags containing free buns came to our food point. Somebody within TWC2 probably knows who the donor is, but like so many other occasions, it’s all very low profile. Here are our volunteers handing out the dessert buns to a worker.
Acts of goodwill don’t always have to involve material goods. Mt Alvernia Hospital sends a team of medical practitioners every fortnight to TWC2 Dayspace. They give free check-ups and dispense simple medication for fevers, coughs and colds. Occasionally a worker consults them and they say this is more serious than they can cope with as a mobile team. We then rush the worker to an emergency room. The next photo is of the queue of workers waiting to see the Mt Alvernia team:
Transient Workers Count Too wishes to take this opportunity to thank these donors for all they have done and are doing. We are heartened that we have your support and our clients’ lives are a little bit better from your contribution.