This will be my third year in Germany experiencing a German winter – and it’s safe to say, I’m a little bit shitting myself. Before Germany I lived in San Francisco which (no offense San Francisco) is season’less as it is forever 18’C (and largely the reason I left). Before that? I lived in Australia, which is currently a sunny ~29’C in November (fuck you, Melbourne) and a frigid 12’C in the HEIGHT of winter (again – fuck you, Melbourne).
Due to these warmer climates, I arrived in “the Winter is Forever Coming” Germany with near to no sensible clothing. It has been 2 years of shopping – from a down jacket to a pair of Timberlands – minus some warmer socks and thermals I almost feeling prepared in 2014/15. This all got me thinking: what do poor people do? Sorry to not sugar coat this and use politically correct terms – but really.. How do people with not so much survive winter without the appropriate clothes? This is a luxury I had literally never thought about before because the climate was the least scary thing about poverty.
Considering my wardrobe now, I’ve realised I have:
- two old fur jackets,
- about 5 woollen jumpers,
- 3 pair of pants,
- a handful of promotional (never worn) t-shirts
- and probably a bunch more things
…which I don’t need and actually won’t ever wear. What typically drives me nuts/ prevents me from giving my things away is that some arsehole hipster would probably buy any and all of these items (from a Humana or something similar) as a fashion statement and my things would completely bypass where they are exactly needed.
I am probably the least social/ political person I know, but what I do hate is hoarding and what makes me really upsad (not a word: upset/ sad – merged) is the thought that some people may/can not be afforded these items which we all take for granted – like a jacket in the winter or socks made of actual wool.
This all started from one very simple question on my Facebook page:
„Does anyone know if there is some version of a charity where I
might give my old shoes and they will dispense among the homeless?
The winter is coming and shoes are a very real thing.“
And considering the reach of the blog and it’s “demographics” I figured this was a good thing to talk about on a larger scale. We as a group are largely made up of expendable income earning 26+ year olds with no children and a love for travel/ shiny objects (technology). Probably we all have a small bag of things to give; so this winter/ festive season I urge you all to have a really quick look through your cupboard as you are putting away your summer clothes and taking out your winter clothes and donating some pieces to charity.
If you feel so inclined below are two institutions which will get your clothes to where they are directly needed – perhaps you can rally your friends, and donate LOTS of bags. Like the post – spread the initiative.
PSA over, cheers.
**If you know of others, feel free to list them in the comments and I will add them to the post if and where relevant.