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Charity Asks for the Gift of Undies on Valentine’s Day


9 February 2017 at 8:20 am
Ellie Cooper
A charity is asking people, on behalf of their loved one, to donate new underwear to homeless people in lieu of traditional chocolate, flowers and lingerie this Valentine’s Day.


Ellie Cooper | 9 February 2017 at 8:20 am


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Charity Asks for the Gift of Undies on Valentine’s Day
9 February 2017 at 8:20 am

A charity is asking people, on behalf of their loved one, to donate new underwear to homeless people in lieu of traditional chocolate, flowers and lingerie this Valentine’s Day.

According to Sydney’s Wayside Chapel, the organisation running the campaign: “Nothing Says ‘I Love You’ like a clean pair of undies.”

Among the many people who walk into Wayside, with “their world… crashing down around them”, are homeless people, and people dealing with addiction and mental health issues.

At Wayside they can receive a warm welcome, a hot shower, and clean undies and socks, along with other support services.

But Reverend Graham Long told Pro Bono News that it was difficult to keep stocks up.

“It’s a 365 day a year need, it’s not just 14 February. But it’s a good time to ask because people are thinking about love, and we’re saying: ‘Everybody give us your undies,’” Long said.

“It’s meant to be funny, it’s meant to be lighthearted but also serious.

“And while people are thinking about giving chocolates or flowers… making your loved one fatter and whatever, nobody thinks about undies, nobody thinks that a pair of undies could be an act of love.

“But in fact it’s the most profound act of love for somebody who has been living on the street and they need a shower and what could be better than a clean pair of undies?”

For those who think undies won’t have a huge impact on someone who is disadvantaged, Long said sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference.

“We find that people who’ve hit rock bottom, often the thing that turns them around isn’t a counselling session or a deep and meaningful or a lecture or a program even, it’s often some little act,” he said.

“And it can be just a cup of coffee given generously or a clean pair of undies for when you hop out of your shower.

“So we want people to see that it’s not an insignificant thing, and if we’re going to spend a day talking and thinking about: ‘How can I express my love for somebody?’ well you can hardly find a more profound act of love than to give somebody a clean pair of undies when they’re living on the street.”

To donate, Long said people who live close to Wayside Chapel are welcome to drop off new undies in person.

Others can visit their campaign page and “chose a pair” or donate an amount of their choice. There is also the option of sending a personalised, anonymous or e-card with the donation.


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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