Laura Hickey is one of the nearest and dearest friends of 7500 to Holte. And Operation Drawstring is an absolutely fantastic cause. When Laura contacted me to see if we'd publish something about Operation Drawstring, the answer was a no-brainer. So here's Laura!
Operation Drawstring is a social action campaign set up by Aston Villa fan and season ticket holder, Kerry Lenihan, with the aim to spread festive cheer to the rough sleepers/homeless on the streets of Birmingham over the holiday period.
There has been a huge increase in the number of rough sleepers on the streets of Birmingham lately and Kerry felt there was a need to do something to help. Taking inspiration from various 'Operation Shoe Box' initiatives, Operation Drawstring was born.
Shoe boxes are not practical to carry around with you if you're homeless, whereas drawstring bags can be reused after the initial items run out, and are easy for people to carry with them. If you’ve ever volunteered at a shelter, you’ll know people are always asking for bags. A team of volunteers will distribute the bags to those on the streets and via various Birmingham shelters/food clinics.
We're asking for donations of gloves, hats, scarves, socks, chocolate, energy bars, bottles of water, shower gel, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, roll on deodorant, sanitary products, tissues and festive novelties to fill the bags.
You can choose to donate a fully stuffed bag or just a few items. Example items to include or donate are:
Socks, Scarves , Gloves, Hats
Toiletries (Tissues, Toothbrush & Toothpaste, Face Wipes, Roll On Deodorants, Lip Balm, Shower Gel, Sanitary Products)
Christmas Cards, Notebooks, Pens & Pencils
Biscuits, Chocolates, Sweets, Crisps
Bottles Of Water
Please NO Aerosols or Sharp Objects.
They are also collecting drawstring bags themselves, so that extra bags can be made up with surplus donations.
There will be a drop off point for donations of these items at the Official AVFC merchandising kiosk on the Holte End car park at the Watford game on 28th November from 1pm.
For those further afield who would still like to help out there is a fundraising page at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/opdrawstring The money raised will go towards purchasing drawstring bags, essentials to fill them with and storage costs throughout the campaign.
Further details will be announced on the project Facebook page or you can follow @opdrawstring on Twitter.