I was contacted a few days ago by someone I hadn't spoken in probably a year. She was a neighbour from the far end of the street, someone who I'm only on waving and nodding terms with these days. We used to exchange small talk most days on the preschool run but our daughters had gone to different local schools, and people drift apart.
She asked me for money, she'd run out of gas and electric and had no money until the end of the week. She was desperate and apologised over and over for needing to ask.
As a rule I don't hand out money. I'll lend you £1 because you don't have change for the bus etc but never usually more than that. I don't have money to just hand out like that. But I do have plenty of resources.
Yesterday her daughter joined us for dinner and had a nice hot shower. Her mum refused to join us, so I sent the daughter home with a boxed up dinner. I'm hoping mum ate it, I notice she's lost weight.
I've told them both the offer of hot meals and hot showers lasts for as long as they need it.
The whole thing has made me wonder how many people in the street are struggling without being noticed or feeling able to ask for help? This world can be a lonely and cruel place sometimes. Keep your eyes wide open folks, you might just spot someone you can help.
X x X