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7 December 2016

Oxford Teenager Organises Donations to Keep the Homeless Warm

Teenagers are typically more renowned for their self-obsession than warm generosity, but one young adult in Oxford is far from typical, having taken the initiative to collect warm clothes and duvets to give out to the homeless in her city, the Oxford Mail reports.

Thais De Souza, who turns 15 today, will spend her birthday weekend roaming the streets with a group of her friends, distributing around 100 duvets, coats, scarves, hats and gloves to the homeless sleeping rough around the city.

The teenager told the Oxford Mail that she was inspired after noticing just how many homeless people she saw stuck out in the cold:

“I wanted to do something special for my birthday and it just came to me.

“I thought I really wanted to do something different, not to celebrate my birthday as such but I just wanted to give things to people who need them.

“At first I thought I would help one person but then I thought it would be good to help the whole city.

“I realised that in Oxford especially there are a lot of homeless people and there seems to have been more over the past couple of months.

“With Christmas approaching they are going to be cold and I did not want them to feel they were left behind.”

It’s not surprising that De Souza noticed so many more homeless people in the city, given that there has been an estimated 100% rise in the number of people sleeping rough in England between 2010 and 2015, as homeless Britons brace themselves for what could be a very cold winter.

Thais reacted to the problem by collecting donations from friends and family before spending them on clothes and bedding from charity shops. She, along with 11 helpers, will take the haul around the city this Saturday, giving it out to people in need that they find.

Fundraisers and awareness events are vital to combat the growing problem of homelessness, especially with cold winter winds beginning to sweep the country. The fact that De Souza has organised her own charity assistance at the age of 14 is admirable.

Anyone wanting to donate money or items to Thais’ cause can call 07789 293691.

Sam Franklin

With a master’s in Literature, Sam inhales books and anything readable, spending his working hours reformulating the info he gathers into digestible articles. When not reading or writing, he likes to put his camera to work around the world, snapping street photography from Stockholm to Tokyo. Too much of this time spent in Japan teaching English has nurtured a weakness for sashimi, Japanese whisky, and robot caf├ęs.