Ho Ho Homeless

£8,465 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 12 months
Welcome to the donations page for Ho Ho Homeless.
2017 will be the third year in conjunction with the Yorkshire Mafia we have raised funds during the winter season.

Our goals are very simple, we aim to raise funds which are then used in conjunction with agencies on the ground, to enhance the lives of the homeless in the Yorkshire region. It is the agencies on the ground that direct how and where we spend the funds raised.

Last year saw us able to offer assistance to organisations in Leeds, York, Sheffield and Brighouse.  This year we are looking to continue to support agencies in those cities as well as targeting assistance into Bradford in West Yorkshire.
That assistance provided included a range of winter clothing and footwear as well as practical items like soup flasks for use by outreach teams. We provided practical things like handwarmers, torches, sanitary items, deodarant and other toiletries.  We provided items to an organisation in Sheffield whose focus is more on prevention and who support younger people in an effort to keep the off the streets.
We especially enjoyed working with agencies who provided hot meals for the homeless and supported them well into the new year with foods recommended by doctors and nutritionists.

With your help we are going to do this and a great deal more in 2017/18.
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Ho Ho Homeless 2017/18

As our campaign draws to a close for another year it is only right that I provide an overview for all of the amazing people who have supported our efforts.

It looks as though this year’s campaign will fail to reach the £10,000 target that I set which is both surprising and if I’m honest disappointing to me.
However on a positive note we have been able to achieve incredible things with the £8,465 we have raised.

We always try to support agencies who have outreach programmes or who come into contact with homeless and vulnerable people on a regular basis.
We do this so that we know any funds we spend go to those who really need it.
This year’s campaign has seen us able to support groups who operate in Leeds, York, Sheffield, Castleford, Harrogate, Doncaster, Rotherham, Huddersfield and Halifax.
Of course our levels of support differ in each of these cities but Ho Ho Homeless is guided by the agencies and we support where there is the greatest need at any given time.

The generosity of the people who donated has enabled us to purchase all of the following items.
Sleeping bags (we purchased 150), to fill our winter gift bags we ordered 1,000’s of winter clothing items which included, hats, gloves, scarves, snoods, buffs, trousers, thermal trouser liners, thermal jackets, socks, dog toys, dog treats, combs, wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, toiletries, wind up torches, hand warmers, foot warmers, tents, foil blankets, foil sleeping bags, waterproof bivvy covers, waterproof walking boots, tinned food, chocolate, selection boxes, Christmas cards, we even bought a Christmas tree and decorations for a homeless hostel in an effort to bring some festive cheer into people’s lives.
In support of the street and breakfast kitchens we purchased hundreds of tins of food along with portable marquees, portable cookers, foldaway tables, stainless steel cooking pots, soup flasks, Airpots, reusable cups, disposable cutlery, disposable bowls, plates and first aid kits.

Although we will never really know the true figure we believe that in some way we have helped over 750 people in our region, all in a three month period.
We have seen two people who we helped return to their families and enjoy life in loving homes once again. For me that alone has made our campaign worthwhile.
We have supported vulnerable families and groups who could not afford Christmas dinner but we ensured they were able to enjoy what many of us could on Christmas day.

We have received incredible support from suppliers, companies and individuals across our region and I will never know how to properly thank you all.
We have spent long hours, sourcing, purchasing, fulfilling and distributing our Christmas Goody Sacks and all our other items. We could not have done this without our agency partners on the ground, who are generous with their time, effort and determination. Thank you to them all, you are now our friends and I am in awe of the work that you undertake.

My final request is to everyone who has been involved, supported, shared or even cared about our campaign.
Always nurture your compassion and never think that you don’t make a difference because you really do.

Thank you all so much.
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Christmas Eve has arrived and I would like to express my admiration for all the incredible volunteers I have met in recent weeks. Unsung heroes one and all, many of whom will be continuing their work throughout the Christmas period.
Each and every one of you are STARS.

As far as Ho Ho Homeless is concerned we hibernate for the next week before taking stock and discussing how best to distribute our final funds. I'm sure that we will still be supporting agencies into January and February as we did last year.

This week our campaign received a huge boost from our friends at Go Outdoors in Leeds. The manager of the York Road store Kelly Scrivenen got in touch with her bosses, who got in touch with their suppliers and provided us with a massive discount on brand new walking boots. These are incredible and I'll be distributing them next week. I can not thank Kelly and her team at Go Outdoors enough.

Like many other people I enjoyed a works Christmas party this week. A little too much wine saw me very much in the Christmas spirit as I left to find a taxi home.
As I left the bar we'd been celebrating in I saw a man in a doorway, sheltering from the cold. I went over to talk to him and quickly found myself sat next to him on the cold concrete. Now this is when something strange started happening, people began to ask me if I was alright. I was asked what I was doing down there and it soon became apparent that as I was sitting there the donations into Mike's (not his real name) had started to increase. Mike had a sad story to tell, was grateful for my company and couldn't understand why I was spending so much time with him. He got tearful when talking about missing his kids and was totally honest in admitting that he was where he was because of his drinking. Sat down with Mike was a real eye opener and I can tell you it sobered me up. Sat in a cold doorway looking up at people gives you a whole new perspective on the world as it passes by. People's reactions surprised me, people's attitudes changed simply because I was sat with Mike. I even met people I know who just didn't understand why I'd be sat on the street with a homeless man on a busy Friday night.
After an hour I had to get up, my backside was cold, my bones ached and I couldn't sit there like that any longer, Mike had been sat there for 6 hours. I tell this story because I learned a lot by sitting next to Mike, he was grateful for my company and the money I gave him. He was apologetic when admitting he probaly would spend some of it on booze. But in truth I didn't care what he spent that money on, if it got him through the next 6 hours it was money well spent. I hope I see Mike again, he probably wont remember me as he was as tipsy as I was. But I'll be sitting down next to him again and helping him if I can. I suggest you all do something similar, youd be doing a wonderful thing.
Merry Christmas to you all.
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Once again I find myself reporting on how busy we have been at Ho Ho Homeless headquarters (wherever they are).
Firstly I have to thank all the wonderful people who have taken the time to donate in support of our efforts, without you we don't exist.
Geoff Shepherd and the Yorkshire Mafia once again provided terrific support when running a raffle at their recent Christmas drinks event and giving the proceeds to our campaign.
Other people continue to donate what they can and little by little we are crawling up to that £10k target.

For over 5 weeks now agencies operating around our region have been provided with regular donations of food, equipment, clothing and toiletries as well as receiving the Christmas Goody Sacks (not bags) we have been filling.
50 of those sacks are being stored ready for distribution on Christmas Day to the attendees of a Christmas Lunch being provided by Carecent in York.

The filling and distribution of those sacks has gone to plan and for ease of operation has been undertaken by the teams from AquaPoint and 4serve.
We are now in the final push and 100 sacks will be distributed by Thursday of this week.

Ho Ho Homeless will have some funds left which will allow us to continue to support agencies into January and February. If we can reach the £10k target we may well be able to help agencies in different ways, particularly in helping to prevent homelessness.

We have had terrific support from suppliers across the UK who have supported us with discounted costs. This has enabled us to buy so much more, fill more sacks and help more people.

As I write this we are awaiting a bulk purchase of brand new waterproof walking boots from our friends at Go Outdoors. This is coupled with the setting up of a regular monthly donation of clothing throughout the year from Kelly and her team in Leeds. We can not thank them enough, especially as we are now discussing about rolling this out across as many Go Outdoors stores as possible. These are exciting times for Ho Ho Homeless.

There are so many people I could thank as well as those who have donated to this page. People who have provided us with clothing (all brand new). People who have taken the time to write Christmas Cards for our Christmas sacks, children who have got involved and now understand more about homeless issues. The many volunteers whom I have come into contact with through our agency partners, this has once again been an amazing (though tiring) experience.

There is still much to do and of course this NEVER stops but thank you one and all ... you are amazing.
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So much has been happening since the last update.
Perhaps most importantly we have continued to send out items to support the work already being done by our agency partners.
As temperatures in Yorkshire dropped this week these agencies were quick to respond and Ho Ho Homeless equally as quick to support, with donations of sleeping bags, tents and many other practical items.
                                        Having delivered over 300 items to a partner agency in York we followed that with a visit to their facilities the following day. The idea being that our good friend and regular donor Kimm, could not only see where her donations were being spent, but also take the opportunity to speak to organisers, volunteers and those using the facilities. Kimm is involved in her own projects in another part of the UK and learned much from her morning with Ho Ho Homeless and our partners. She will be sharing her stories about her meetings here in Yorkshire over the coming weeks.

We have had great support from our friends at The Yorkshire Mafia this week who organised a raffle during their annual Christmas drinks event. If previous years are anything to go by this will result in a significant donation to our cause. Thank you so much to Geoff, Kate and their team.

The packing teams for our Christmas goody bags are now scheduled and this will be quickly followed with the distribution of the bags in the two weeks before Christmas.
From a single city three years ago our Ho Ho Homeless bags will this year be sent out to Leeds, York, Bradford, Sheffield, Barnsley, Castleford, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Rotherham & Harrogate. We think this is amazing.
As for what is going into the bags, we have had deliveries galore and it will be a mixture of ...
Hats, socks, gloves, pants, toiletries, thermal blankets, tee shirts, coats, hoodies, chocolates, torches, hand warmers, foot warmers  snoods, scarves, water, combs, brushes, dog toys, dog treats, sweets, Christmas cards and whatever else we can fit in that is useful.

Without reaching our target of £10k, we will still help well over 500 homeless and vulnerable people during this campaign.
That's because of the support from our suppliers and the deals and discounts we have negotiated with them. It's because of the generosity of those who have donated both money and items. It's because of the tireless work done by our partner agencies who undertake the support of the Homeless throughout the year.
So imagine what we can do WHEN we do reach our target!

I say when because I expect to reach that £10,000.
There are enough Yorkshire businesses out there who are generous enough to become part of the #100strong.
There are enough good people out there who will see the impact Ho Ho Homeless is having and want to support us.
BUT ... the clock is ticking.
So please share this post with ALL of your friends and colleagues. Spread the word and let's all make sure we find the last £2.5k and smash our target.
Thank you.
Please be part of the #100strong
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£8,465 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 12 months
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