I can’t believe this will be my 50th Christmas with the poor and the lonely. It all seems to have gone by so quickly! 

My earliest Christmas Day memories are from Kings Cross in the 1970s and 80s. 

One year a man with no arms turned up for Christmas lunch. Two wealthy old Potts Point dames looked after him, feeding the gentleman with a spoon. He returned the favour by telling them off-colour jokes!

Years later I celebrated Christmas for the first time at Ashfield. In fact, I shared two plates of sandwiches with a handful of people. It opened my eyes to the need of another group – the lonely.  

It taught me how important it was for them to have somewhere to go on Christmas Day too.

Indeed, I’ve come to understand how deep the sense of  loneliness is for so many people on Christmas Day. More and more people in our society have no family, and it seems to me the emptiness grows worse every year. 

So this Christmas join me in sparing a thought for those who are less fortunate. Give thanks for the gifts of good health and family, and be kind to one another.

About the Author: Bill Crews

Rev. Bill Crews AM is a much-loved Australian who's given over 3 million meals to the hungry and taught thousands of underprivileged kids to read. He's been recognised by The Rotary Foundation and Ernst & Young. He is on the National Trust’s list of 100 “National Living Treasures”.