On Sunday the 23rd of July 2017, COTS hosted ‘Christmas on the Streets: Winter Edition’ in our hometown of Melbourne. This marked our first ever indoor gathering!
Sunday was cold with late showers; it was an accurate backdrop that went hand in hand with our winter theme. The middle of the year marks Melbourne’s coldest months, so it only made sense for us to hit the streets once again and share in the gift of giving.
A month prior to the event, our dedicated volunteers began pouring their hearts and time into making this day happen. People were sharing the news with their family and friends, bought items (our local Kmart ran out of sleeping bags), gathered donations, collected money and raised awareness regarding the homelessness issue in our very own backyard.
The response COTS received was overwhelming. We are forever indebted to the support that our friends showed us.
Volunteers began to arrive at 10am to assist in setting up. By 2pm, the once empty Drill Hall was full of everything – organised to perfection. Our doors opened and our homeless brothers and sisters commenced to join us. The hall came to life and the love inside was contagious. Nothing could wipe the smiles off everyone’s faces.
The photos and videos attached to this page are a glimpse into the day we shared with each other. Our words will not do it justice.
COTS would like to extend our gratitude to:
- All of our homeless brothers and sisters who trusted us and allowed us to serve them through this mission. You are our heart and COTS will always be here for you. We love you.
- Our volunteers who constantly sacrifice for this movement and go above and beyond to bring COTS’ vision to life. You ensured that the entire event ran smoothly and we truly cannot do any of this without you. You are COTS.
- The barbers and hairdressers who joined us on the day and offered their services.
Nasir Sobhani (The Streets’ Barber), Jimmy (Musket & Bayonet, Ballarat), Jono and Dwayne (Valiant Barbers, Heidelberg), Elliot (Brother Wolf, Prahran), Eoin and Jackson (Area Studio, Melbourne), and Mel (Melissa Joy Hair).
- Oraha Khnanya from OK Group Co. who provided all of our catering on the day. The meals were loved by everyone and the amount of effort and time put into everything did not go unrecognised.
- Our friends behind Melbourne Period Project and Pinchapoo. Your donations were beyond appreciated and we cannot thank you enough for inspiring us and helping COTS to push forward.
- Wolf by Day. An upcoming movement that will take the world by storm. Chris, Darwin and Leroy flew from three different cities to be apart of our event, and donated apparel for our team also. We are beyond grateful to have met and befriended these guys. Please follow them on their new journey.
- John and Tez who also flew over to be apart of the day, thank you! An additional thank you to Tez who is the genius behind the official COTS: Winter Edition video. Check her out on YouTube (Tez Carlson) – she is a gift!
- MCO Events. Mel Yu is not only a dear friend, but a business boss-lady whose advice and support in the lead up to the event helped us tremendously. Your contagious positive energy did wonders. For any event you might ever need to plan, MCO has your back.
- Shardey (Shardey Olynyk Photography) for the beautiful moments she captured at our haircut stand. Your photos have given us memories we can reflect on for all of eternity – thank you for being apart of our day.
- The Age Newspaper for the write up on our event. Your willingness to shed light on homelessness in our city was heartwarming. You can read the article here.
Thank you to everyone! To those who we have mentioned and haven’t, you know who you are. Every small and big gesture contributed to making this day what it was and has reminded us that the COTS spirit will soon be shared across the globe.
We have only just begun, but with your support, the potential is limitless. We will be the change. The world needs us!
Thank you for being apart of our journey. By continuing to serve together, there will be no one left sleeping on the streets.