Hope springs eternal in the human breast*
In the eighteenth century French writer, historian and philosopher Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet) described An Essay on Man, penned by the poet Alexander Pope* in 1734 as “the most beautiful, the most useful, the most sublime didactic poem ever written in any language”. Pope was an enlightened thinker and his essay an affirmative poem of faith.
How hard is it though to continue to have faith in anything or anyone when you are hungry, homeless and believe that there is no one who cares about you, or for you. How much harder is it for someone who is in such a position, just to try get back to square one, let alone reinvent themselves so they can keep moving forward into a future that holds some hope of a better life.
In Australia there are many small groups and organisations active on the ground helping people in crisis locally, practically and immediately. StreetSmart Australia is a social profit organisation founded in 2003 to help ease their burden by raising and delivering the funds they need through financial grants. They also raise community awareness of the complex issues surrounding homelessness, while connecting people across communities so everyone can concentrate and do their best.
As the holiday season draws near you, your family, friends and work colleagues can Dine Out and Help Out by Dining Smart. This is the annual fund raising event for StreetSmart Australia, which takes place in 2011 from the 14th November to the 24th December.
From Alchemy with its stylish red chandelier on the Waterfront at Brisbane to Bill Granger’s fabulous trio of eateries Bill’s Surry Hills, Woollahra and Darlinghurst in Sydney or, the smart establishment Ezard at the base of the Adelphi Hotel at Melbourne you can make a positive contribution and help to illuminate a life.
English Actor Stephen Fry is a great supporter. He says ‘How wonderful it is to do something graceful, something simple, something kind at Christmas. Like all the best ideas StreetSmart is blindingly simple’. During the six weeks leading up to Christmas following your meal at a restaurant participating choose to add a $2 gold coin donation to your table’s account for StreetSmart and help the homeless.
There are many wonderful restaurants involved and they are all listed on the StreetSmart website so click here to look them up to make a booking.
If you use dimmi, the instant restaurant reservation contact for over 1,500 of Australia’s leading restaurants, they have also pledged support for everyone booking at participating restaurants through their service. Please mention DiningSmart when you call.
If you are able to go a little further and add $2 per person that would be even greater. Importantly too, you know that your contribution is reaching out to help give someone a whole new lease on life in 2012.
The list of participating restaurants around Australia is growing, but StreetSmart still need more. So if you have a favourite place where you eat that you find out is not aware of this wonderful initiative, perhaps you might act as an ambassador and bring them onto this winning team. You can invite restaurants to consider joining by handing them the DineSmart Recruitment Flyer.
For all sorts of reasons in our community there are those who fall by the wayside and believe they have no one to help them. They need community support. Perhaps they have lost loved ones in a tragedy or come from homes where beatings and cruelty are a daily occurrence. Our role in life is not to judge them, but to care enough to offer assistance where, and as we can. Australians are good at pulling together in times of great challenges and this year will be particularly difficult for many, especially those living on our streets. So between the 14th November and the 24th December Dine Out – Help Out please by DiningSmart in Restaurants who are StreetSmart.
The smiles generated will then be huge over this coming Xmas season.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle 2011