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The season to be jolly but also a season of immense sadness!

Discussion in 'Positive Feelings and Motivational Messages' started by Petal, Nov 14, 2014.

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  1. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    As the title says for most people Christmas is a holiday you spend with relatives, family and our friends to enjoy, to eat lovely foods, to exchange gifts, hugs, and just basically a ''happy'' holiday!!

    But there are a lot of people who will feel depressed, suicidal, anxious and most of all lonely at christmas.

    Do you have an old neighbour that lives alone, do you think someone needs help in any way, needs some company, someone feeling very alone, if you're in a positive to apply for the samaritans. Or simply send a card!

    I propose that we visit or talk to someone who is feeling vulnerable this christmas? Or any other way, even chatting. Releasing stress!

    For example, last saturday evening I called up the street to a neighbour (my friend's mom) who drinks a lot(she was sober when I called), is married but she has her fair share of issues. We talked and laughed and I gave her company she didn't have in a good while. It felt good for me and her, she made me happy too lol! At the end I asked her for a hug *shy,I ask everyone for a hug* she asked me to call next week for a drink, I explained I do not drink and she said that's fine we can just have a laugh like today. Oh and before I actually walked into the house I made sure I was not intruding, she said I've known you since you were in a pram you're always welcome here, don't be silly :) She was telling me all her good memories from when she was young and I was so interested in that, things were so different back then it's like a new world, it was such a positive approach I made, I made her feel great and by that I felt good too :)

    Try and do something for a neighbour/friend/relative this christmas....maybe donate food to a homeless shelter (doesn't have to cost much) build a little hamper and hand it in (we did that in school).... just think of something you can do to be of help to someone in stress at this time of the year. You can make a big difference by doing something very little!!! Simply being there for someone can help tremendously.

    I think this is a great idea, any tweaks or suggestions are welcome too :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2014
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

  3. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    Very good idea Petal; also for the rest of the year try: http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/

    And also to count your blessings: http://www.gratefulness.org/index.htm

    As Petal says, when you are out Christmas shopping & you see a hmeless guy/girl, either give him/her your loose change or if you're worried they'll spend it on booze or drugs, then buy them a coffee & burger.

    In Costa Coffe shops (in the uk at least) you can buy a 'suspended coffee'. So when you go in for coffee buy one for yourself, pay for a second one & ask for it to be suspended. The second coffee is not made until a homeless guy/girl comes in & asks if there are any suspended coffee's. If there are then the homeless guy/girl gets a free coffee. At least you know buying a suspended coffee is going to keep someone warm out there on the cold streets

    A few months ago I was up near Bournemouth Magistartes court one evening when I came across a guy sleeping in the grounds of the old police station (Dorset Police Bournemouth have now moved over the road into a new building.) I bought him burger & chips & coffee & we sat chatting whilst he smiled at me appreciately eating his meal. It turned out he was recently released from prison but as he had only been sentenced to six months in prison, of which he served half (three months) he was not released on license to be supervised by Probabtion. I also gave him £1.50 so he could go to the nightshelter as they now charge the nominal £1.50 whereas some time ago it was free. Probably to do with so much demand for so few beds.

    Then as Petal says, look in on a neighbour. A knock on their door will make all the difference. Also if they have a mobile phone & you know their number send them a text saying hi & asking how they are. Better still just phone them for a chat.
  4. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Wow Twocky! Those sites are awesome, wish I had known about them sooner. I could not resist lighting a candle for you with the subject being wishing you love, health and happiness. I like the part where it tells you to take a minute to think before and after lighting it, awesome site! Also because I'm Irish I have a wealth of luck so hopefully all those will come true lols!!

    So true about the people that ask for money for a bus or change, I get that a lot in the city. A guy I knew from years ago asked me for change one day, I could clearly tell that this guy was on drugs, I told him I'd buy him a bag of chips he said ''doesn't matter'' and walked away, so yeah while I do feel sorry for them for going down that road, I will not help fuel his addiction. There are those that genuinely do want food, I have given money quite a few times , sometimes though I am actually scared of them, they're rough looking. They have soup kitchens here as well too for them.

    What you did for that homeless person was really nice, 1.50 for the night shelter is not bad. Here we have hostels for homeless people to go to and they can stay there long term, their social welfare money comes straight out for the hostel (I think around 50 euros a week, that includes meals as well) which is very good, they also have social workers etc...they have actually just built a brand new one here, I haven't been in it but it's supposed to be extremely nice! You were very kind to that person! :hug:

    I agree too on looking in on a neighbour, someone who lives alone etc... A woman on my street, a retired nurse, not poor though as far as I know but I think I will pop in to see if she is alright or maybe just give her a box of choccie cos I know she has no-one, I barely know the woman but I'm sure she wouldn't turn down a chat , she lost her mum I think 2 maybe 3 years back around christmas as well.

    So yeah the message I'd like to send out is, it does not cost anything just to be nice and friendly, someone will appreciate it. :)

    One more thing on one of those links has kindness stories, I will be reading them and maybe even try to get some ideas!! Thanks so much, they are both bookmarked now! :)
  5. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    thank_you: for lighting a candle in my honour Petal; though I am embarrased by the gesture :thankyou: anyway :peep:

    Being Irish Petal I am sure in a metaphorical sense at least, you are going to find that pot of gold at the end of the :rainbow:

    When Abigail & I were volunteering in Copenhagen, (who I have mentioned elsewhere on SF), we stayed at a sort of Kibbutz (not actually one but near enough as makes any odds). Whilst staying there Abigail & myself, along with our driver Kurt (also mentioned elsewhere on SF) would go out in a Sprinter van at night around the city to feed the homeless with soup & sandwiches donated by local businesses. Also blankets & socks etc.

    Benjy sandwich shops in London still donate end of day unsold stock to St. Mungo's night shelter. The major uk supermarkets were in discussion to do the same with their end of code (end of sell by date) stock. The discussion stalled due to the potential logistical problems that could entail. The way I see it there are none. I have done my research & the way I see it, the problem is diesel costs involved in distribution. As for fleet availability to deliver this stock Transhield deliver to all the supermarkets anyway. So they can then pick up returns after delivering to each supermarket & then return to the distribution point for either the charities to come & pick up the donations themselves or Transhield could use smaller vans to deliver to the charities.

    Perhaps i should be a politician :rofl: Though maybe not. I have enough problems as it is :)

    Acts of Random Kindness are a good way to be nice to people. Oprah Winfrey had a show dedicated to the concept. She did an act of random kindness herself. She drove through a toll tunnel (might have been the Lincoln Tunnel NY) or a toll bridge (maybe Golden Gate SF), which one it was is beside the point. At the toll booth she paid her toll and also asked if she could pay the toll for the following few vehicles. The toll operator, albeit bemused said "Sure Ma'm" so Oprah did and the drivers of those following cars received a nice surprise :)

    I have quite a few over my time; such as:

    I was driving a truck on the M6 when in my rear view mirror I saw a fast approaching BMW being pursued by two police vehicles. I quickly realised a third police vehicle was obviously not available. The police were obviously orchestrating a T-PAC manoeuvre to apprehend the vehicle. You need three vehicles to implement a T-PAC (Tactical Pursuit & Containment): One vehicle in front of bandit vehicle, one to the offside, one to the rear. Front vehicle brakes, offside vehicle crowds vehicle & rear is right up it's back end, thus a forced stop. But no front vehicle would be available. T-PAC is possible with only two vehicles but extremely difficult plus it gives bandit vehicle an avenue of escape.

    So......... I decide to be the front vehicle :becky: I braked & obviously realising what I was doing the police did their bit bringing the vehicle to a forced stop.

    On the hard shoulder the police came over & thanked me for my assistance. We shook hands & I went on my way

    Officially the police do not recommend public involvement & assistance in their duties due to inherent risk but they were grateful all the same :)
  6. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    You are most welcome hun! You embarrassed? Well I guess there's a first for everything lol j/k!!! :hug:

    What you did in copenhagen was a really nice selfless thing to do! There is not many that would do it. Amazing that the local businesses got involved too. I always feel good when I see there is good in the world!! My city would not have enough homeless to actually do that. Our welfare system is much higher than the UK for example, don't laugh but I know this from Jeremy Kyle that the average welfare in the UK is around 50 pounds every 2 weeks. Is that correct? Ours is around 190 a week and as I said earlier they have opened up quite a few hostels so thank goodness we don't have a major homeless problem here.

    Weird that you say that about the big super markets, 'cos sometimes I would be there in the evening and see things like the fresh bread, donuts etc.. so cheap they're practically giving them away, it's a shame really that they cannot donate them. I always used to think to myself look at the waste of food there, it never even crossed my mind about them donating them. I am sure if they really got their heads around it, they could arrange something if they really wanted!

    That was so nice of Oprah, I think celebrities do things like that not for people saying oh look at her isn't she great, I think it's all about setting an example and trying to see people follow suit. Celebrities are role models and people will ''listen'' to their actions. Win win situation there :)

    Oh wow, that's amazing what you did for the police and public in that situation, a dangerous situation too!! Well I think so...to be honest I had to read that 3 times to slightly get an understanding, I don't watch top gear haha! You made a risk though and possibly even saved lives, well done!! :) I bet they were very grateful!!

    Big hugs! :hug:
  7. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    :thankyou: Imee (if that's your name as I can only find http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/message.cfm?l=eng&cid=21853525 remotely likely to be me :)

    Weekly benefits here in the uk is about £70 a week for those on JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) which, as the very name suggests, you have to be actively seeking employment to qualify. Those on the previously named Income support (now renamed ESA (Employment Support Allowance)) fall into two groups recieving about £70 a week in line with JSA. One group is work group related, the other is not. Those on the former are encouraged to find work with support from their assigned Disability Support Worker within Job Centre Plus. The latter group are not required to seek work via a work group unless they wish to so totally voluntary.

    Prisoners released from prison recieve a discharge grant of £46 which is supposed to last you a week. On release you are given an appointment at your local Jobcentre. You then apply for benefits. If you apply for JSA you will recieve first weeks payment within that first week. If you apply for ESA then your first week payment could take a few weeks & those released without accomadation (those serving twelve months or less are often released homeless as unlike those serving over twelve months they are not released on probation supervised license) then they either have to seek accomodation themselves or sleep rough & more than likely reoffend to get the accomodation they have just been released from (like the guy sleeping in the old police station grounds)

    Privately contracted prisons (as opposed to public sector) have the right idea. Wheras in a public sector prison you can earn up to about £15 a week depending on your job, privately contracted prisons pay more. So let's take working in the prison kitchen for example. Unlike other jobs kitchen work is seven days a week with one weekday off a week unless you want to work that day too.
    Public sector prisons pay around £15 a week. Privately contracted prisons however pay £50 a week. A massive difference. The whole point of prison is rehabilitation & preparing a prisoner for release & trying to make it that he is less likely to reoffend. My cell mate at privately contracted Altcourse prison in Liverpool was discharged with £1700 he had saved from his kitchen earnings. He does not smoke so he saved there. All he bought each week was phone credit, toiletries, stamps, stationary and greetings cards. He didn't have to by biscuits or things like that from the prison canteen (shop) because he was in kitchens and was well fed there :D

  8. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    Some very simple & cheap acts of random kindness:

    +When you are driving out of the 'Pay & Display' carpark & you still have an hour or so left on the ticket, offer it free to a driver coming in. This only works as long as you don't have to type your registration number into the machine which is then printed onto the ticket or the carpark has ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) camera's as are now being used to check on road tax, insurance, stolen vehicles etc.

    +When buying a coffee, chocolate bar, crisps etc from a vending machine & you put in a pound/euro & the item costs less, leave the change in so the next customer sees the change amount on the display & thus gets a disvcounted item courtesy of you. Also public payphones: Phone boxes in uk charge 60p for half an hour to all 01/02/03 prefixed numbers. you used to be able to put in a pound, make the call & as the phone box will only return change from what you put in (Ten 10p's for a 60p call returns four 10p's,) whereas a pound coin does not return the 40p after the 60p call as there are no change tubes in phone boxes; same as in parking meters. :yell:Bastards:yell: :rofl:

    +When walking down the street you see a car parked at a parking meter & you notice the meter has gone into penalty time, top it up so as to save the driver from being issued a parking ticket :D

    There are loads more :D
  9. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Sorry no that's not the candle and I did not bookmark it damn but I named it I think twocky and signed it petal. (I will try and find it). Strange, I cannot find the candle and I'm certain yesterday that there was an option for countries. ''Ireland'' as I would sign but no Ireland is not even listed as a country on that site today. Very weird, I think it's glitchy! I will do one for you again when the site's working properly.

    I fell asleep yesterday so sorry for the late reply. Thanks for explaining all of that about the JSA ect.... You learn something new every day :)

    And I love your ideas in the above post. Really nice and cheerful. You have a great mind at your mind is set in your heart.

    Lynn x

    Oh thanks for explaining the prison life at bit, always curious about that, dunno why I think it's cos my worst fear ever is ending up in a prison rofl! Very very unlikely to happen but it's something that scares me ....just one of those strange things lol

    Further edit. I guess that site doesn't like Ireland today lol Had to sign it Iran, then wrote Ireland under it :) but anyway here's your candle and my wish for you http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/message.cfm?l=eng&cid=21860008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2014
  10. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

  11. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Awwww that is really sweet! Thank you so much, give Claire a hug from me please :) :thank_you:
  12. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    yv :welcome_mouse: Lynn

    :freehug: from Claire as from me too :hug: :hug: :hug:
  13. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    Here's a brilliant one gleaned off another forum from a guy in Pitsburgh called Mike:

    "In the early 1990's after my motorcycle accident I was working a second job, I sold stereo equipment.

    It was the week before Christmas, I was walking through the store I saw an envelope on the ground. I picked it up and it was stuffed with cash. I carried it up the manager's office. We counted it, there was over $2,700 in the envelope. We waited for someone to claim it. A man came to the counter frantic, his entire "Christmas" was in that envelope. The guy was so happy that we were honest, he was crying. He tried to give a reward to the manager and I, but we refused. "Merry Christmas sir!"

    He wrote a letter to the company which told the story. As a thank you the company gave the manager and I each a $100 gift certificate to use in the store.

    So yes, it's an easy answer for me. I'd do the right thing."
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