After saving up for an all-out celebration on New Year’s Eve, one Wales couple decided to cancel their plans at the last minute so they could put the money they saved towards a greater cause.
Stacey Fordham and Paul Gray made New Year’s Eve reservations at an up-scale restaurant so they could enjoy dinner and drinks while avoiding the chaos that often accompanies the holiday.
However, in the days between Christmas and New Year’s, the couple thought about the presents they had purchased for Christmas and all of the food they ate during the holidays. After considering all that, they cancelled their New Year’s reservations and spent the money they saved to help homeless people near their home in Cardiff, Wales.
Stacey and Paul bypassed dinner and spent their money on waterproof jackets and pants, hoodies, socks, gloves, water, toiletries, and other items that would be useful to homeless people living on the street. They then walked straight into downtown Cardiff, looking for homeless individuals to give their items to, a task that didn’t take long.
“Tucked in doorways and laying across freezing cold wet floors were men, women and even teenagers,” Stacey explains. “We stopped and took the time to have conversations as well as giving them what we had to keep them warm.”
Stacey says that the people appreciated the gifts, but that afterwards she and Paul felt bad because they couldn’t do more to help the people living on the streets of Cardiff. However, they did learn that every little bit helps.
“When driving home we both realized that you don’t have to have a huge bank balance to be able to help others. You have to make a simple sacrifice,” Stacey says. “Instead of having your grande decaf latte from Starbucks or Chinese takeaway – use the money to buy something that will really make a difference.”
She adds that while giving to a charity helps, personally giving a donation to a person in need can feel much better. Stacey and Paul have plans to do something to help the homeless in Cardiff at least once a month, and they are encouraging others in their home town to join them in making a “simple sacrifice.”