Emmaus Gloucestershire has launched a P.A.N.T.S appeal to ensure that rough sleepers have access to items that many people take for granted.
The P.A.N.T.S appeal – People Always Need Their Smalls – is asking local individuals, businesses, schools, and groups to collect unworn male and female underwear, bras/sports bras, socks, and sanitary products and donate them to any Emmaus shop in Gloucester, Stroud, Nailsworth, or Cheltenham.
Donations to the P.A.N.T.S appeal will be distributed to rough sleepers every Wednesday during the Emmaus Soup Run in Gloucester city centre, along with toiletries, sleeping bags, hot food and other essential items.
Emmaus Gloucestershire supports up to 34 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion by providing a home for as long as they need it and the opportunity to learn new skills in its five second-hand shops across the county.
While living at Emmaus, residents lead on the charity’s soup run project, heading out every week to help others on the street who are in a position they once were.
Emmaus resident Will regularly helps with the soup run, and said: “I feel like I’m making a real difference and it reminds me of the times that I was on the other side of the table – I too accepted help in the same way and I remember how it felt to accept the kindness of strangers. I now get to give that same kindness to those I meet every week.”
Speaking about the appeal, Jennifer East, Support Worker at Emmaus Gloucestershire, said: “The weekly soup run has its obvious benefits, but conversations that happen there can result in things like this appeal. A lady who came along to the soup run recently said that a warm meal and hot drink were appreciated, but one of the essentials she missed was clean underwear. The P.A.N.T.S appeal is as simple as it sounds – everyone needs their smalls, but not everybody thinks about donating any, likely because they don’t realise they can. We would like the public to think about picking up a pack of underwear next time they are in the supermarket. We will also accept tired bras still in good condition. A few smalls really can make a big difference.”
Donated items can be dropped off in any of the laundry baskets clearly marked by the till in each of the five Emmaus Gloucestershire’s charity shops in Cheltenham, Stroud, Nailsworth or Gloucester from 10am to 5pm.
To find out more about the work of Emmaus Gloucestershire visit www.emmaus.org/gloucestershire. To volunteer at the Wednesday soup run, please call 01452 413 095.