Cathy, one of our fantastic Big Red Box Volunteers, tells her inspirational story about how she got involved with Big Red Box, and the hurdles she encountered on her journey.
What we love most about this story is that it’s not how we envisaged Big Red Box impacting people’s lives at all, but it’s amazing to see such great, if unplanned, consequences through projects like this. Cathy never even received a food hamper but it’s a heart-warming story about how she was impacted by the initiative to the extent that her life has changed and she is a key volunteer.
“In 2013 I was not in a very good place. My grandson Levi, who was just four years old, was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly in the summer of that year, Levi passed away. My personal storm had begun: I was angry, bitter and negative about everything. Whilst on the outside I would smile, my inner glow had disappeared, which in turn took away both my confidence and my ability to mix or talk to people. I just felt pain and heart-broken.
“I just kept asking why? I took most things for granted. I never took the time to appreciate those precious moments. My thoughts were not of where my life was leading, but of what I needed in my life. I had locked my inner self away. I had suffered a loss, which caused me to be sad and lonely.
“I remember one day close to Christmas going to Sainsbury’s in Sydenham to do my weekly shop, and saw some people at the entrance. They had red t-shirts on and were collecting food.
“I stopped for a while and just watched them. These people looked so happy, busy collecting food and giving out leaflets. I took a leaflet and went into the store. I collected some food on the list they had given me. As I came out they had gone. So I called King’s Church and arranged to drop the food off.
“When I did I was greeted and thanked by two very friendly young people. A warm and peaceful feeling brought a smile to my face.
“It was not until around a year later that I found the courage to go back to King’s Church, and got involved with Big Red Box. I do not mind telling you I was very nervous as I was not used to mixing with people, let alone smiling and asking for food. My fears where squashed as I was given a t-shirt. Mike Reich (Project Director) and the team soon put me to work. It made me feel humble as I saw what people gave. Everyone just kept smiling and packing boxes. It meant so much to me.
“I am so glad to be a part of Big Red Box.”