Our reverse Advent calendar container, into which we’ve placed a gift every day for four weeks, outgrew its original basket. Thank you, Elizabeth Worts (my sister) who suggested the idea of a reverse Advent calendar, and our friend, Morag Davies, who took up the challenge. You can read about the original idea here.
The basket quickly grew from this
We started at the beginning of Advent which is the Christian liturgical season of preparation for Christmas.
The large container now weighs far too much to lift into the car so I’ll download it into manageable boxes so I can drop the goodies off at Ruah during the week.
Ruah, a community-based service, assists vulnerable people. Think, for example, men and women with mental illness and those whose lives have been affected by drug and alcohol dependence. Consider people who are homeless, affected by domestic violence or child abuse. The idea of such vulnerability overwhelms most of us.
Ruah aims ‘to develop flourishing communities through active participation and well-being of people with complex needs.’ Their mission is ‘to empower vulnerable and disadvantaged people to create meaningful change in their lives through provision of quality support services.
Ruah’s core values include
- A high regard for the value and worth of each person and the natural world, in all our practices and interactions.
- A hands-on approach to pursuing social justice in the community by responding to needs and aspirations in practical ways.
- A commitment to work with all stakeholders for the common good.
- The pursuit of honesty, ethical practice, trustworthiness and accountability in all interactions.
- An openness to and exploration into innovative ideas and possibilities.
This organisation’s day-to-day activities include the provision of a safe place for those who are sleeping rough (in parks, doorways, under bridges). There’s hot coffee and a biscuit available, someone to listen, and a hot shower. There are clean towels, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and perhaps new underclothes. Whatever vulnerable people need so they can face the world with personal dignity.
What ended up in the reverse Advent calendar basket
- Shampoos, conditioners, body-wash, deodorants, toothpaste and brushes and a hairbrush.
- Dozens of men’s and women’s knickers in various sizes and styles. Perhaps we could have thought about more in larger sizes.
- A new doona cover and pillowslips (for people being helped to rehouse themselves and their families)
- Bath towels
I’m grateful to Elizabeth and Morag for their contributions to this reverse Advent calendar. I hope can do it again next Advent. But I also hope that people will contribute to this cause throughout the year.
I took the information about Ruah from their website. You can find more information there.
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