December 17, 2014
As Christmas and new year approaches, it seems the done thing to quietly contemplate the year gone by and reflect on all the ups and downs you’ve encountered along the way.
For me, it’s been a very bittersweet year.
It started out very busy, volunteering at my local foodbank where I was working my wee socks off and making a real difference within my local community.
Social media had played a massive role in my work there and continued to do so as I basically annoyed the life out of anyone who would listen. About foodbanks, charity work, poverty and the blatant inequality that was so evident to me, but not to everyone else. Or so it seemed.
Through twitter I had met some pretty amazing people who were like minded and determined to make a difference.
I happened across a tweet about homelessness in Glasgow.
Having been homeless for a spell myself, it was (and still is) a subject close to my heart.
These tweets were poignant.
They identified a real issue in Glasgows city centre by a railway worker who had noticed the stark numbers of people sleeping rough as he finished up on his nightshifts.
It became quite apparent that this guy, although a grumpy old sod, had a real desire to do something about this huge citywide problem.
I was in!
How could I help? What could I do?
Id developed a real passion for helping others where I could and was happy to try and link in with the contacts I was lucky enough to have made through the Foodbank.
From there, The Invisibles was born.
A community group who would act, in effect, as the middle man in arranging collections of clothes and sleeping bags then distributing them between the main homeless charities in Glasgow.
The name was never in question for, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we’ve all walked by someone sitting on the pavement without a seconds thought about the whys or where fors that led them to this place of rest.
Many would rather they were invisible and have already created a scenario that excuses the ignorance before walking by them.
This person is someone’s son or daughter, a brother or sister. A parent, an uncle, a friend.
We knew it would take off. We believed whole heartedly in the spirit of the public and that it would bring people together when faced with a real opportunity to help another.
I don’t think we envisioned just how successful we would become in such a short period of time.
I was offered a job, a job coordinating a Foodbank. So, I had to take a step back for a spell but kept an eye on the goings on with a firm view that once I found my feet in my job, I could then get stuck in again with this group that I had been involved with from it’s inception.
The job was (is) going great then I lost my wee mum in July.
Therein lies the bittersweet.
I am immensely proud of each and every one of them. Each bringing unique skills to the table but overall, the desire to help others who for whatever reason, are experiencing issues severe enough to render them homeless/roofless/stuck on the streets, is the main factor is keeping us going.
2015 will be a great year for us. We will continue to help where we can and intend to keep those less fortunate than ourselves at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015!
Original Content at: http://taragmaguire.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/the-invisbles/
You can follow Tara on Twitter @mag_tara