It may be a blatantly commercial anniversary, but it’s got to be a good thing to have a day to celebrate love, surely?
And this year I see more reason than ever to celebrate, with new schemes that are showing love and consideration for people we don’t even know.
- ❤️ As the founder of Linkey says ‘Why not show love to people who really need it on Valentine’s Day?’ He started Linkey after an encounter with a homeless man on a winter night. The Linkey online shop offers products to buy for homeless people, including a Valentine’s gift of thermal gloves and toiletries. The items are delivered to homeless shelters and rough sleepers across London, with plans to roll out across the country.
[Note: due to its founders both starting families, Linkey closed in June 2019 after 18 months of helping the homeless].
❤️ Today sees the launch of non-profit organisation Beauty Banks to tackle the problem of ‘hygiene poverty’. Co-founder Sali Hughes of The Guardian beauty column reports that ‘More than half of families reliant on food banks say they can’t afford to buy toiletries’.
She wants the beauty community – bloggers, journalists, readers, brands, retailers and manufacturers – to send toiletries for people in serious poverty. They will be supplied to those ‘looking for work, returning to education, suffering from poverty-associated mental-health difficulties or who are simply in need of the same sense of cleanliness and dignity taken for granted by the rest of us.’
As a teenager I read novels by authors like Winifred Holtby, incredulous that once upon a time families struggled to feed themselves and that opportunities for young people depended on their parents’ wealth, class and status. And comfortable in the knowledge we had progressed well beyond such a primitive state of affairs.
How wrong I was. I’m horrified that food banks and their like are necessary, and that the government appear to think it’s fine. I’m not surprised these initiatives are being set up by ‘ordinary’ people. Those who benefit from the system aren’t going to be in any hurry to change it.
I’m sure there are plenty of other ways people are showing love to their fellow humans today and every day. Let me know here or on social media and I’ll share them ❤️