Meet Tony. Tony has become a big part of ProjectKindness. If you saw Tony volunteering at our annual Kindness Christmas Event, you may never have guessed that when we we first met him, we were delivering the first washing machine he has ever owned! From that moment on we have been captivated by the amazing attitude he has towards life, his gratitude, and his desire to give back.

Tony’s story is one that is all too familiar. Prior to securing stable accommodation, Tony spent six years on the streets sleeping rough. One of the first individuals to set up a tent in the park next to Central Station, he is no stranger to cold, sleepless nights, and tough times. Hearing about all Tony has been through is disheartening, but we are privileged to be able to offer some support and the occasional hug to make his days that little bit brighter.

Thanks to your generous contributions, in Tony’s own words, we have made his house a home. A donated fridge, couch, and washing machine, together with homewares found on marketplace, has gone a long way to creating a space Tony can feel comfortable in and call his own.

We often call Tony to check-in, and we always hang up with a huge smile. He tells us about his day, usually involving him assisting his elderly neighbours or cleaning up the community garden!

Like anyone we know, he has good days and bad days, but somehow he always manages to crack a few jokes and remind us that ultimately, life is good. Tony lives by the motto that we should cherish each day, and even if things aren’t so good, that there is always hope for a better tomorrow.

Spending time with Tony and being inspired by his incredible attitude, even against the odds, we have learnt so much. We are reminded that homelessness should never define a person. It can be easier to simply walk past the homeless on the street, to keep your head down and look away. It’s much harder when you’ve seen their eyes and heard their story, stories like Tony’s.

As a community, we need to come together to try and make a difference. We know solutions are not always easy, but we all have the power to reach out, to show respect, and donate if you can. If we could each make a difference to even just one person, what a wonderful world this could be.

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