6./ The socks, the gloves, the cosy blanket.
It’s a cold day. I see a guy asleep on a wall at the entrance to an underpass. I head back into town, to buy him a blanket.
I meet a community policeman on the way back, he seems to know about the man, he said an ambulance is going for him. I told him he was asleep on a wall, and it’s too cold, to sleep on a wall. I go to the cash machine. There’s a lad begging by it. He looks down. I chat, he’s called Scott. I ask him if he needs some socks, and gloves. He tells me he already has two pairs of socks, but some gloves would be nice. I get £40 out.
I buy one of those cosy fluffy blankets, the big ones, like a fleece, it was only a tenner from the market stall. And 12 pairs of thermal socks, another fiver. And three pairs of thick thermal gloves. Another fiver.
I go over to Scot. The policeman has moved him on a bit. He’s now sitting on one of the stone benches rather than the floor, and he can’t beg. He has crutches, after an operation.
We talk a bit. I give him a couple of packets of socks, and a pair of gloves. I invite him to my church, in Crookes, in Sheffield, he knows it, and says he will come. I tell him the people are very welcoming. I pray with him, and tell him he is a child of God, a prodigal son, and it is time for him to come home.
He’s moved. I give him £10 as I leave. I can tell how much it means to him. I want to do more for him. And all those like him. And I will.
On the way back through the underpass I cover the sleeping man with the cosy blanket. And leave him a pair of gloves. And a packet of socks.
I didn’t take a photo or anything, so I’m using an artwork by Charlie Mackesy, of the prodigal son. It’s beautiful, see how the son has just collapsed and let go into the arms of the father. He is home, and safe, and it is over. Like I haven’t cried enough today already.
These Good Deeds Cost: £30
I don’t want to claim anything back from the fund, but thank you.