Lone­li­ness at Christ­mas

Warwick Daily News - - YOUR SAY -

THE count­down has be­gun to Christ­mas Day and while I do love this time of year, I of­ten find my­self sad­dened when I am re­minded of all the young chil­dren who will be alone without any­one to care for them this Christ­mas.

Every year there are many kids who spend their Christ­mas Day on the streets – they don’t have a home to go to, let alone presents or a hot meal. Our home­less youth are re­minded at Christ­mas of what they don’t have but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you ask some of the kids Youth Off The Streets works with what they want for Christ­mas, it won’t be a new bike or the lat­est game. They will ask for some­where safe to sleep. Some­one to talk to. A hot meal. A shower. The lit­tle things that make you feel loved and wanted.

This year I’ll be hand­ing out hun­dreds of ham­pers and presents across Aus­tralia to fam­i­lies who need it. Our Koch Cen­tre for Youth and Learn­ing is also hold­ing a com­mu­nity din­ner on Christ­mas Eve to show our sup­port to the peo­ple we work with. Just the sim­ple act of giv­ing a Christ­mas meal can dras­ti­cally change the hol­i­days for fam­i­lies in need. Hav­ing a meal and some­one to talk to gives them the op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with oth­ers which is what this time of year is all about.

This year, when you are open­ing presents or hav­ing a nice meal with loved ones, I hope you can spare a thought for those who will not have a Christ­mas like yours.

I hope ev­ery­one has a won­der­ful Christ­mas and New Year and that 2019 brings you joy and hap­pi­ness.

Yours faith­fully,

Fa­ther Chris Ri­ley

CEO and founder at Youth Off The Streets

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