Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Chrissie Brekky

As many of you know, I manage a charity service that provides breakfast (and other services) to people who are homeless.

Well Christmas is almost upon us. We have debated for some time what to do for “our guys” over the Chrissie period. We have come up with a couple of solutions.
There seem to be a profusion of Chrissie lunches, some in the days leading up to the 25th and some on the Holiday itself.

So breakfast being “our area of expertise”, we decided to put on a BBQ brekky. Well our brekky has happened and I am pleased to say it was a roaring success.
We provided lashings of steak, lamb chops, sausages, bacon, eggs along with bread rolls and assorted condiments (plus of course our more usual fare of toast, cereal, coffee and tea for those who wanted it). We had a generous donation from a local church to cover the cost so we went to town on the amounts.
By the time we opened we had a large grill full to overflowing of food ready to go.

It was a real pleasure to see the delight of many of our guys at the sight that greeted them as they came in.
One of our regulars for example, a guy who is old beyond his years and who wears an eye-patch and has massive facial scarring from the ravages of cancer treatment, chuckled with glee when he was told he could pick whatever he liked and could come back for as many servings as he wished. Another fellow said he loves eggs and hadn’t had one for over a year; he came back for at least half a dozen.

These guys have so little and live such desperate lives. Their joy at something so simple was really one of those moments that help make a tough job more than worthwhile.

The other thing we are managing to do for the guys is to keep our service open throughout the entire Christmas period. Christmas coincides with summer here. This leads to a great number of charities and other services not only closing for the holidays themselves but in some cases closing for weeks. Fortunately because we have a very dedicated team of volunteers we are going to be able to stay open right through Christmas and January.

Now a couple of piccies.
On our way home on the weekend we stopped a couple of times so I could grab the chance to capture some evening shots.

This first was captured near Yarra Glen.The silvery look is partly due to a combination of haze and cloud, but is also an artefact of a very narrow aperture because I was shooting almost straight into the afternoon sun.
The next is taken a little later from a point called Garden Hill.It is looking across miles of suburb to the distant Melbourne CBD.

Finally, again from Garden HillThe city with a 300mm telephoto as the Sun set behind.

A brief note about the self-publishing experiment. Formatting is almost complete. I have to chose a different name for my publishing venture. I am also working on layout and images for a couple of web pages. This last has not been going very well as I have not been at all happy with what I have put together so far.


Simon said...

Hi Al,glad to here the breakfast was a success and that they will at least have your place to visit of the Christmas period.You must have some truly dedicated people.You and they are an example to us all.As they say in Brasil 'Feliz Natal meu amigo'

Me said...

Hello! nice to know that.....
Thanks to people like you....

Sometimes I felt bad when I saw how much we throw away food at my work place and at the same time there is a lots of people sorround us who don´t have any food in there table...sad to say our goverment changes the system.

Before we used to bring the leaf over food to the help organisation.
to make my story short economically it´s more save to throw away food than to give it to people who needs food...
Ja money matters...

Thanks for dropping by my blogg and happy holidays!

Greetings from Sweden, Gothenburg

Amanda said...

Oh that is awesome of you all! I have to be honest that I've never heard of a BBQ brekky but it sounds delicious! I know you made their Christmas a whole lot brighter.

Love the photos! Beautiful!

Ibyang said...

that's a lovely brekky, i'm sure the homeless people felt so blessed with what you have done for them.

great photos! :)

Jenners said...

Gorgeous photos ... especially the one with the city.

And I'm so happy to hear about the success of your brekky ... it bet it was a real treat for them. Bless you for all the good that you do!

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

Aw, Al... I love this blog. Great stories and then great pics.

Michele Emrath said...

Fabulous post on a fabulous feast for the deserving.


Al said...

Hi Simon,
Brekky was a real success which was great. However, staying open for the whole period is even more important. It is thanks to our volunteers that we can do it. They are truly fantastic people, easily worth their weight in gold.

Cheers mate and you have a happy Christmas as well.

Hi Me,
Thanks for dropping by. I think Sweden is one of the better countries in terms of looking after the disadvantaged. Unfortunately there a still people in need.
Merry Xmas to you too!

Hi Amanda,
Hey it was fun, and it is important to make things special for the guys.
Look on a BBQ brekky as sort of an Aussie version of a full English breakfast. Only instead of frying it up we cook it on a BBQ grill. We Aussies love to barbie anything and everything and at almost any time of day or year.

Hi Ibyang,
Thanks for commenting and thanks for the praise about the photos.
We had a lot of expressions of really heartfelt gratitude. But what did it for me was the smiles.

Hi Jenners,
I think it was a real treat, I think most really enjoyed themselves. I know my staff and volunteers certainly did.

I was happy with the way the piccies came out. I thought the one with the sunset behind the skyscrapers really worked.

Hi Christy,
Thank you. I really appreciate all your comments. Thanks mate.

Hi Michele,
Thank you! It was a great morning and it really good to see people forget their troubles even if it is just for a while.

Lisa said...

How wonderful to be able to get these guys the kind of breakfast they haven't had in so long! You've had some really tough things happen of late; it's nice you're able to have some great things happen!

Al said...

Hi Lisa,
It is wonderful. Especially since what little effort it takes to make a difference (at least for a day).