Gifts with a heart for the homeless

Ameerah and Aiden Harpley prepare candy canes for the homeless this Christmas.
Ameerah and Aiden Harpley prepare candy canes for the homeless this Christmas.

WARNBRO resident Adila Harpley is teaching her children about the true meaning of giving this Christmas by collecting and wrapping gifts for the homeless.

The mother of four opened her home as a collection point for South West Australian Homeless People’s (SWAHP) inaugural Christmas Gifts for the Homeless event after seeing a post on Facebook.

Mrs Harpley said the project had given her children a greater understanding of what it meant to be homeless and in need.

“We need to remember that homeless people are not just numbers, they are individuals who had a life, family, career and friends… just like you and me,’’ she said.

Founder of SWAHP and Rockingham resident Jonathan Shapiera knows what it is to be homeless after having spent two years on the street with his son.

Mr Shapiera said he came up with the idea to give wrapped presents and personalised cards after realising that Christmas was a very impersonal time for the homeless. ‘’Spending two years on the street with my son made me realise that Christmas was very impersonal for those living homeless,” he said.

“We were given some gifts and food, but they were unwrapped. They had no affection or Christmas attached to them… it is what made Christmas just an everyday event living on the streets.”

Donations of gifts and cards for the homeless can be left at Rockingham Salvation Army. The gifts will be collected and distributed by SWAHP on Christmas Eve.