Algarvian days may be filled with sunshine, but the nights are now starting to draw in and overnight temperatures dropping, with much colder weather still to come.

Please spare a thought for the homeless men and women who have no option but to sleep on the streets, the numbers of which (according to the Red Cross Portugal) have increased due to unemployment, rising living costs and high rental rates.

In 2019 after a chance encounter with a homeless man at a local petrol station, Anita van Huson started a small campaign to help the homeless organising a Christmas gift of a new sleeping bag and welfare package. By 2021 the campaign had grown, reliant on the generosity of public donations and a few volunteers Anita was able to distribute 159 sleeping bags and welfare packages.

This year wanting to replicate the 2021 campaign success, we have been in touch with active homeless associations (Red Cross, C.A.S.A, soup kitchens etc) across the Algarve (Lagos – Tavira) to determine how many homeless would benefit this Christmas bag and package campaign. Times have most definitely got harder and we already have 200 sleeping bag requests with this anticipated now to rise to as many as 250 bags once we hear back from all associations involved. Our primary goal is to distribute a sleeping bag to everyone in need, if we have excess funds to enable everyone to also get a welfare package then that would be a bonus!

How YOU can help –

1) Financial support – cash/paypal/bank transfer to enable us to purchase suitable sleeping bags – compact, >1 kg weight (to ensure warmth) – on average €25 per bag.

2) DONATE – buy suitable sleeping bag(s) or provide excellent quality 2ndhand ones and deliver them to us for distribution.

Credits: Supplied Image; Author: Client;

How companies can help -

3) As above or consider sponsoring the bulk purchase of other essential items for the welfare packages – e.g. 200-250 fleece-lined hats, gloves etc

This year’s campaign is being coordinated by Eve Clifton – please email or call (+351) 932 755 866 for more information and how to donate.