This train station will serve dinner to 200 homeless people on Christmas Day
It's easy to feel like a Grinch during Christmas. Every December, shopping turns into a nightmare, and you spend way more on gifts than you should. There are awkward family gatherings with annoying relatives. There are awkward office Christmas parties where you get way too drunk and - well, the less said about that, the better. (Things got crazy.) The point is, it's a stressful time. (And all that irritating "holiday music" doesn't help.)
But once in a while, you hear a story that reminds you about the true spirit of Christmas: helping those who are less fortunate. And there are few people less fortunate than the homeless. Be honest - we're all guilty of neglecting homeless people, as we walk down the sidewalk, or out of a store. Sometimes when they ask us for money, we just glibly say "sorry," or we don't even respond.
Euston Station is one of London's busiest train stations, but on December 25, it's empty due to the holiday. Rather than let it go to waste, Network Rail has decided to do something special. They're collaborating with the charities St. Mungo's and Street's Kitchen to serve Christmas dinner to 200 homeless people. (Cue clapping emojiis.) As you Brits like to say, "brilliant, innit, guvna!"
“Stations are at the heart of local communities," says Euston station manager, Joe Hendry. "And we want to provide a legacy through good relationships with organizations like St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen that supports the homeless community in and around our station long after the buzz of Christmas has died down.”
Street's Kitchen feeds a thousand people on the streets every week, and will supply the food for the dinner. Jon Glackin, the head of the organization, says, “This is a shining example of local businesses, community groups and individuals coming together at Christmas in solidarity to assist others in need over Christmas."
“It’s fantastic to work with all the Network Rail team innovatively employing one of their prestigious stations to spread some festive cheer for our homeless community. This will be a fantastic fun day for our homeless friends that we will all hope could be replicated anywhere and everywhere.”
The dinner will be served by 30 Network Rail employees, working alongside volunteers from St. Mungo's, a charity that provides "a bed and support to 2,700 people a night." Community and events manager Beth Norden says, “Many people become homeless because of relationship breakdowns so Christmas can be a particularly lonely time for some of our residents." Thankfully, they'll have some company, and an awesome feast this Christmas Day.
It's appropriate this charitable event's at a train station. Usually when train stations make the news, it's because of something awful, like an act of terrorism or a racist fight or "manspreading" dude punching a woman. Most of the time, when we're riding the train, we totally ignore each other, looking at our phones. Just as trains connect a city together, we should remember to connect with our humanity. We love to complain about our lives, but the truth is, there are a lot of people less fortunate than us. At the very least, we should try to help them out during Christmas.
Hopefully more train stations follow Euston Station's example (and don't be Grinches).