'Christmas is about giving' - Single mother organises free Christmas meal for homeless
PUBLISHED: 11:20 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:04 20 December 2018
A single mother who fought back from unemployment and mounting debt has organised a free Christmas dinner for the homeless.
Chloe Brooker, of High Street, Lowestoft, will host The Free Festive Feast at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church on Sunday, December 23.
The 26-year-old, who runs the kitchen at Benjamin Britten School, was inspired to help by the rising homeless problem she sees in the town every day.
Miss Brooker said: “I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time but was never in a position.
“What better way to give back than to feed the homeless?
“Last year I lost my job in a kitchen and got into debt. I was working in retail in town and a lady came up to who was desperately in need of help.
“She was soaked through, her lips were blue and she had been out in the cold for days but there was nothing I could give her.
“I had £5 in my bank account so took her to McDonald’s to get a hot chocolate.
“But after I couldn’t stop thinking about her, I was in a warm house and she was out in the freezing cold.”
At the time Miss Brooker was £2,000 in debt but promised herself if she was ever in a position to help she would.
A year later she kept her promise.
Miss Brooker added: “It is the government and council who have a responsibility to look after the homeless but instead of pointing the finger people in the community can do things to help.
“I put out what I was doing and people and businesses have been donating.”
So far more than £400 has been donated by Desmond’s Pizzeria, Shake and Cake and BNI Sunrise.
As well as toiletries, chocolate and gifts from members of the public.
Miss Brooker said: “Christmas is about giving. If you have things to give you should give to those who need it.
“No one deserves to be out on the streets in the freezing cold – what can you do other than try and help?”