Annual Giving Back Christmas Party
The Man Shack Event
This year we kicked off our third annual giving back Christmas party at the Man Shack in Belfast. For our team it has become one of the most highly anticipated days, why? Because whether you sew, package or manage accounts, it’s a day that you get to witness the heart of the company, it’s what makes those stressful days in the office worth it. It’s just a full day of giving back to those who are homeless.
Ever since our first Christmas party in 2017, we wanted to create a party like no other. What makes a good Christmas party? Music, hot food, community and gift bags. So we had it all. The Man Shack being right bang in the centre of town meant our location was perfect, ideal for being close to drop in shelters and those who are sleeping rough in the city. Next was food, we wanted the best possible, so we reached out to our friends at Tribal Burger, Boojum, Margot Pizza and Starbucks who were amazing in getting behind the event. Whether we set up a pop-up in the UK or for giving products, presentation is key. We wanted those who are homeless to experience a shop style setting when choosing clothes, their own size, styles and colours. So that’s what we did, we had clothing rails of hoodies, sweatshirts, t-shirts alongside our giving products of gloves, blankets and beanies. We maybe went a little further and ordered in some backpacks, waterproofs, wash bags and toiletries to put in them. Our good friend David Cavan was also there to set up a portrait booth so that people could have a before and after photo that they could take away with them.
The set up as a whole looked incredible and by 11.30am the queues were already starting to form outside. Once the barbers were ready it was all go. We had over 80 people who were homeless come spend the day with us. It was a party never to forget, in the words of those who attended; “Thanks for putting all of this on just for us”, “This is the best thing someone has done for me all year” and “It’s great to get out of the hostel for a day.” For the companies involved it was a chance for them to maybe see a side of life that they were unaware of, to be more educated on the issues of homelessness through interactions and stories from those who were living it out on a daily basis. The different stories of those who came showed the complexity of homelessness, an umbrella term that means not everyone was street homeless, but also sofa surfing at a friends house, living in emergency shelter or a hostel in town. All are experiencing homelessness in their own way but each deserve to be treated as an important member of society, to know they are loved and truly valued. We hope all those involved at our Christmas party had an amazing day.
Here’s to more giving back initiatives and hopefully more companies inspired to reach out or help in their own way.