As I suspected, The Happiness Project London has become rather one-sided. Its been far easier to go out to nice restaurants than do anything for charity. Life is so busy in London that its been hard to find time, but I’ve also been putting it off in favour of nights out suggested by friends. However, the second and critically important premise of The Happiness Project London is that life becomes empty when we only live for ourselves, so I’ve wanted to kick start the charitable side sooner rather than later.
So I was inspired by St Mungo’s “Winter Warmer” campaign which aims to raise funds for the homeless especially at this time of year, by encouraging people to hold fundraising events around the theme of “keeping warm”. This is something close to my heart as I’ve always found Christmas to be a rather melancholic time and I also have personal experience of how homeless hostels have helped people close to me, so I decided to do what I could to help.
Adapting that theme somewhat, The Grump (our new name for “my boyfriend” until we come up with something better) and I have decided to hold a “bad jumpers” Christmas party for all our friends. I found some inspiration below – “the Giles” and “his and hers” being particular favourites.
As well as having the final catch up before we all part ways for family Christmases – and drinking our body weight in mulled wine – I’m asking my friends to donate money to the St Mungo’s campaign and also to bring along any spare blankets, toiletries and clothing, which The Grump and I will take to our nearest emergency shelter in Southwark the day after, notwithstanding fuzzy heads.
I can’t think of anything better in London than spending an evening with your closest friends all dressed in terrible jumpers, knowing that you’re doing what you can for someone else, and you might just make another person’s day. If you can, I’d encourage you to do the same – contact St Mungo’s through the links page to set up your own event.
UPDATE: We called the St Mungos emergency shelter in Southwark and the local shelter in Battersea and both were full up with clothes and couldn’t store any more. BUT they were very keen for toiletries. So, we dropped off the toiletries at the Southwark shelter and are due to deliver the clothes to the Christian Mission shelter in Southwark (as suggested by the St Mungos emergency shelter). We also donated money to St Mungos. So, its a good idea to ring up shelters first to check if they can store/circulate your items before you rock up.