Are you a talker or a doer? Some one who talks about a problem, or someone who wants to fix it?
Last week here in Ireland, a man named Johnathan Corrie was found dead on a doorstep, only yards from our government building. He had been homeless for many years with a variety of personal difficulties. There has been a huge reaction to his death in this country, with candle light vigils being held for him and much debate on the airways. All laudable I know, but I ask myself what good will talk do? What are those who are blaming government actually doing in their lives to make a difference? What would have helped Johnathan? How can I help?
Recently I have become aware of an organisation which is certainly making a difference. It was the brainchild of a man who had an idea and followed through. His name is Kevin Kelly and he hails from Co Carlow. Having watched a video uploaded by Emily Deveraux about a woman in the US who makes coats for the homeless a seed was planted. A number of weeks later he visited a home as part of his job as a fire and flood restoration specialist. There he saw three coats which were going to be thrown away. Remembering Emily’s video he decided he would have them dry cleaned and give them to the homeless. This kernel of an idea took root, and he and his wife, Sue, and Emily came up with a plan. They would collect unwanted coats, hats, scarves and gloves for redistribution. This would be done by liaising with charities, both here in Ireland and abroad, who would ensure the coats go to those who needed them.
And so ‘Jacket off your back’ was born.
It is such a simple idea but it has taken off. There are now many people throughout the country, who thanks to Kevin, can quite easily do something for the homeless, rather than just talk about them. There are drop off points in many counties throughout the country, and a large number of charities liaising with Kevin in order to collect the coats and put them to good use.
So if you are living in Ireland why not check out this fantastic charity. Look for the drop off point in your area. Don’t forget that that coat which is hanging up in your house, probably never to be worn again, could this very night be keeping someone warm.
Don’t just talk about it…. do something about it, today.
If you don’t have a spare coat there are other ways to help. Perhaps you might visit Jacket off your back on facebook and give them a like. Spread the word among your friends or via social media.
To Kevin, Sue and Emily, although we have never met, I salute you. You, and those around you, who have helped make this such an overnight success, are certainly what I would call ‘doers’. You are making a very real difference to so many.
On behalf of myself and all the less active doers, I say ‘Thank you’.