series of post's I have been doing to try and occasionally unhook myself from my house and interior design lust and focus on other's who are doing beautiful deeds for others. (It sounds all high and mighty but I actually am addicted to "house porn" and need to get off it occasionally!)
Okay. This may seem like an overshare at first, but hear me out. My husband, Tim, is not wearing any underpants. For all of April. Here is his letter of explanation...
As you know, whenever the really big issues pop up our world, ordinary people rise up to do weird things so you'll give money to an organisation that's doing something positive about it. Friends, it's time for me to stand up and do my bit.
Now, seeing as Tony Abbott currently has the monopoly on all feats of ridiculous physical exertion, I can't just go and climb a mountain barefoot or pull a train carriage with my nipples. oh no, it has to be something way more difficult and uncomfortable than that.. Folks, I'm committing to not wear undies for the rest of April.
As you may know, I work for a very inspiring mob called HopeStreet. We're a bunch of community projects and churches walking alongside some of Sydney's more marginalised people. Our programmes include a safe drop in space for street-based sex workers, supported accommodation for long term homeless people and supported employment for long term unemployed and "unemployable" people.
Some of the other HopeStreeters had vowed to give up Chocolate for the month of April, but that seemed a bit too easy to me, so I chose to up the ante a little. But before I tell you how you can support me, let me give you some good reasons why I'll be getting by without jocks for the rest of the month:
Because homeless people feel insecure constantly. One of the worst consequences of homelessness is the feeling of insecurity that comes from not being able to count on anything - no safe place, no guaranteed food or money, no protection from the weather, no safety in relationships because you're constantly the one asking for a bit more help.. I want to feel a little bit of that insecurity by taking away a commodity I've always been able to count on.. my unmentionables.
Because little things make a big difference. Our art programmes are a great example of what happens when a person gets to focus on their strengths, not their problems, for a little while. We see people flourish - they positively bloom - and it's because they've been allowed for the first time is ages, to think of themselves as someone who is good at stuff, not someone who is good for nothing. So I'll be reminded daily just how big a difference something small can make.
Because HopeStreet cares about what's underneath. Everything we do revolves around our belief in the worth of every individual. Our programmes run much longer than many other organisations do, because we journey with people for the long haul. This gives our people time to work not just on the presenting problems, but on whatever it is that's lying underneath. The latent trauma, the broken relationships, the poorly formed life skills.. So as I live without grunderdaks this month, I'll be reminded that healing begins when we take time to think about what lies beneath.
Good reasons? indeed. Now, I'm very aware that every time you think of me over the next few weeks, you're going to have to deal with some pretty intimidating mental pictures. I can assure you that the very best way of dealing with these is to make a donation. immediately. It will salve the thought carnage.
Please go here and make a donation: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/hopestreet_fasters . Join me in giving up, so others can get back in on the game.
To download HopeStreet's latest newsletter, click here: http://hopestreet.org.au/documents/HopeStreetNewsSpring2009webcolour.pdf , or have a squiz at our website http://hopestreet.org.au/. Thanks for taking time to engage with urban poverty in Australia.
And of course, if this note has captured your imagination in a.. er.. memorable way, please do forward it on to your friends, colleagues and mothers.
With all my love
A note to the compassion fatigued:
You know if you're one of them. You already give regularly to seventeen charities (and possibly your church as well), and you probably just read this email in between your two full time volunteering jobs, whilst nursing the stray cat/teenager that wandered in off the street last week and hasn't stopped eating since. If this is you, please DON'T give to this cause. The world is full of worthy causes, and it's important you let yourself off the hook from trying to support every single one of them. Thanks for the amazing generosity you live. Perhaps, if you really want to support, you could forward this to someone you know who might not be as over committed as yourself. or you could just know that I love you, click delete, and forgive yourself :)