This year so many people helped their fellow citizens, especially those who found themselves homeless after the floods. However, if that commitment was there all year round we would probably have few, if any, people desperate on the margins of society, as we see every day.

In each city, town and village in Ireland there are people who make a difference every day of the year in their own homes and communities because they care about others. But as the casualties mount, in the face of one of the worst economic recessions in history, surely the time has come for more of us to join them, and make the effort to extend the season of goodwill?

Most of the people we meet everyday, who find themselves homeless on our streets, are outsiders. They feel excluded, and are often unable to cope with the pressures of everyday life for myriads of reasons. While it may seem like an idealistic hope, the fact remains that if everyone were made to feel welcome, overnight we would change the very nature of society.

That is a kind of revolutionary change we can only create as individuals, families and communities, because we cannot legislate as a society to make people care, and as we face into a New Year this commitment to creating a better world should not go unnoticed.

I am reminded of the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world”.

– Yours, etc,
Director Co-Founder,
Bride Road,
Dublin 8.