I know it says keep it to a minimum but I'd like to say to anyone out there in need of help do not let your pride get in your way. Many years ago I fell on hard times, really hard times in fact. I only had enough cash to pay my mortgage, feed my kids and get to and from work. Even at that point I wasn't breaking even.... My hours of work had been reduced and I was effectively starving to stay afloat.
As much as I didn't want to I ended up calling the VdeP, it was so hard to do because I'm a proud guy and never wanted 'handouts'.
The guys in VdeP are saints. Literally saints. They do not judge, they genuinely want to help you out. Even with the limited resources they have they will do their utmost for you.
Alot of people go through hard times. As soon as I got back on my feet after two months of their support I never looked back. Now I make it my business to donate every month with a little extra at xmas.
I will always buy toys for the giving tree which are generally in every office and just knowing that I'm giving back that feeling to someone in need that I got is an amazing feeling. I know things are tight for everyone especially this time of year but if you can spare a fiver, or even buy a small teddy, book whatever I can tell you from experience it restores the faith in humanity for the person receiving it.
Sorry for the long winded note....