A chance encounter last Christmas prompted a Bexhill man to launch a project aiming to bring a bit of festive cheer to the town’s homeless.
Zac Jones was driving home from work last yuletide when he came across a homeless man in the town.
He learnt that the man used to have his own garden centre business, but the 28-year-old had fallen on hard times and had ended up living rough in the town.
After hearing the man’s story, Zac decided to show a bit of Christmas spirit.
The 26-year-old told the Observer: “Last Christmas I was driving home from work and I saw this homeless guy and I stopped off and bought him some goodies.
“It played on my mind a lot over Christmas, having a hot meal and thinking there are a lot of people out there on the streets who don’t have this.”
After giving his gifts to the man who he had met on the street, Zac’s Little Box of Love project was born.
He said: “I thought a nice idea would be to get a box of gifts and a card with positive thoughts.
“I thought it would be a good idea to give someone a little box of love, basically to show there is someone out there who cares.”
Over the last few weeks, kind-hearted townsfolk have been dropping off their lovingly-packed gift boxes to pick-up points at Little Gem and The Picnic Basket.
Zac will pick up the boxes on Christmas Eve and will be joined by a few volunteers in distributing the boxes to homeless people in Bexhill.
The remaining boxes will be donated to organisations that help the homeless in Hastings and Eastbourne.
Zac, from the Old Town, is hoping to have around 40 boxes ready to hand out on Wednesday.
He has also had a few hampers donated, which will be going to elderly people in the town.
Zac says he feels homelessness is a hidden problem in Bexhill, but says that he has been overwhelmed by the support from those living in the town for the Little Box of Love project.
He said: “I want to thank everyone for all their effort and support and it shows that the community can come together.”
Boxes are still being accepted at The Picnic Basket in Sackville Road and Little Gem at Little Common.