Helping those who need it most in Barcelona
It’s difficult to understand just how lucky you are to come from a place like Australia until you leave it for the first time. Even though my family never had a lot of money while I was growing up, I don’t remember a time where I ever went to bed hungry, unless I’d well and truly misbehaved.
My stepfather, Andrew, was born in Fiji, and I was fortunate enough to have visited this island paradise on numerous occasions during my childhood. But it was also here, at a very young age, that I discovered that the world was not a level playing field when witnessing the poverty in many of the nation’s cities and villages.
As far back as I can remember, my mother had always been heavily involved with a charity organisation called CityCare. As I got older, we would help CityCare, together, in providing food and other necessities for many of Brisbane’s homeless and disadvantaged residents. Mum also spearheaded several fundraising events for both CityCare, and another organisation that was known then as Mercy Ministries, which was founded to provide treatment and safe spaces for young women suffering from abuse.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with the founders of both organisations, and I am grateful for the opportunities in which I was able to make a positive difference within my community. As a nation, Australians are also fortunate enough to have access to a welfare system which provides financial assistance to a very high number of residents. Admittedly, some who deserve assistance don’t receive it, and some who receive it don’t deserve it. Every system is flawed, but it still does a pretty good job of providing benefits to more than a third of the nation’s population. So between the many religious, charitable and government organisations in Australia, residents always have access to some form of support.
I believe that as humans it is, at the very least, our duty to be supportive of everyone around us. There is a good reason that all of the world’s most widely followed religions emphasise the importance of Love; it’s the energy of the soul.
I spend a lot of time every day in the city streets of Barcelona. When I’m out either walking, riding, or simply just observing life here in Cataluña, I lose count of how many people I see either sleeping on bits of cardboard or pushing shopping trolleys, filled with all their possessions, aimlessly to nowhere. I don’t remember a time where I’ve ventured out in Barcelona and not seen someone who could really use a helping hand. I have always had a strong desire to help the people around me and seeing so many people here, who have given up on life, is something that I refuse to accept as a normal. At the time, without a job or much money, I didn’t feel like I would be able to provide much help to anyone but I started buying cups of noodles and cooking them for people who were living on the streets. This turned out to be short-lived as I was unable to carry more than five cups at a time and constantly spilled hot water on myself. Until Cyndi came up with the idea of sandwiches. We started making different types of toasties, packed with vitamins and minerals, before setting out in search of those who needed them, who were never far away.
I know it’s not much, but after spending a little bit of time with some of these guys, we quickly began to see how our small deeds meant much greater things to them. Many of the recipients would say they have not eaten in days, and I fear this is the case for a lot of the homeless residents within the city. We met a group of men that were living at the entrance of a cinema, closed during Covid, and began taking them small hampers of food and homemade juices. I realised that we had become quite important to them by the excitement they soon began to greet me with; we didn’t have much to say to each other, but it didn’t take a lot to see the positive impact it had on their day. I was heartbroken on the final morning that I went to take them breakfast, only to find the cinema had reopened and my friends had been sent to their next place of refuge. But as long as we are physically able to, Cyndi and I will not stop making food and giving it to those in need.
Operation Spread Love isn’t just about providing food, it’s also about letting people know that the world still cares. This kind of love doesn’t cost time, money or anything else, so you have no excuses not to share it. But if more people shared just a little bit of what they had then the world would be a much more beautiful place for us all to live. If 1% of the world can end all poverty financially, then 99% of the world can do it with actions of pureness.
Don’t stop loving and don’t stop caring; together, we can all make the changes needed in the world. If you wish to contribute in any way to this cause then just be kind to everyone around you, regardless of what they can do for you! But please do not hesitate to get in contact or leave a donation below if you wish to support our efforts.
Paz, amor y buena salud.
Operation Spread Love
Would you like to feed the homeless in Barcelona? 100% of money raised will go directly to buying food for those who need it most. Donations are accepted through Paypal or card payments below.