The Big Issue is a weekly magazine sold by people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Part of the cover price goes to the vendor so they can take steps to getting a home and making a fresh start in life. It’s sold in capital cities in Australia and also in other countries like the UK.
Each year they have a special edition featuring Christmas wishes from vendors across Australia. Here are some from this year’s edition.
I am hoping to meet our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and ask him what he plans to do about the homeless and mentally ill in 2017. Both these areas are underfunded. This year I got to see Prince in concert before he died, in Sydney. Merry Christmas to everyone, even my exes. From your loving vendor.
Daniel K, CBD & North Adelaide
I want to say thanks to my customers for supporting me. I am pursuing visits with my daughter. She is almost nine. She is very good at running. I want to find a two-bedroom house so that my daughter can come and visit, because at the moment I am in a rooming house so she is not allowed to come there. There is nothing available at the moment.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the nice people of Melbourne for buying the magazine. People have been very helpful and I love to have a laugh with them on their way home. I am going to be saying goodbye to my customers next year as I may be starting a new job or moving to Queensland.
I wish all my customers all the best for the New Year. I am hoping to be able to sell at a new location. My cat is called Prince and he’s 16 years old. I’ll be getting him a special Christmas dinner for Christmas. The best thing that has happened this year was the Western Bulldogs winning the flag! Go the Bulldogs.
Jeff S, Melbourne
I love my customers and I wish them a happy festive season. Thanks for all the chats and smiles. Thanks for supporting our magazine!
Willy, St Kilda
I would like to thank all my customers for their support over the year. It has been hard, but you all make me very happy just seeing all my customers have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Gordon, Moonee Ponds
I would like to save up to buy my daughter a car, because she had a car accident and has a two-year-old girl and she needs one. I’d like to spend more time with my family next year. Thanks to all my customers.
As I study for my music certificate, I pause and wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas!
Devo, Myer Bridge
One of my biggest achievements of 2016 was getting my P-plates, which has made getting around easier. I also got a dog, his name is Doug. He is good company and well trained. By the end of the year I will have a full licence. The Occupational Therapy Services helped me get my licence, and they put a story about me on their Facebook page. I’m the first bilateral person to drive without any attachment. Merry Christmas to all!
Rob N, Elizabeth Quay & Cloisters
After years of unpaid work experience, I decided that it was time to show the world that my ability to participate in my community has value – so I started selling The Big Issue. Now people can see my abilities and my disabilities are like everyone else’s. I’m a valuable part of the community and for the first time I earn my own money. In 2017 I hope to save enough money to see WWE when they come to WA. The biggest issue I faced this year was depression, but working at The Big Issue is helping to change that because I am learning to overcome my feelings of isolation.
Dylan G, Falcon shops, Mandurah
What a year it has been; up and down, but I keep trying because I love my job! My customers have been awesome, and when Eliza [my partner] works with me they always make her feel welcome and that puts a smile on her face. To all my customers and friends that have made me happy, thank you. Merry Christmas and a safe New Year.
Glenn F, Elizabeth & Foveaux Sts
Sometimes I have great days on the pitch selling The Big Issue. Mags fly out and there’s the smile of another nice customer. Sometimes there are bad days. I’ve sold zero mags, even though all these people are passing by. But like the song, “Some days are diamonds, some days are stone”. One day while I was selling a woman came up to me and handed me $50. She said, “I found this on the footpath where I live and I wanted someone else to have it.” I thanked her and she walked off. Unbelievable. If the woman who gave me the $50 note reads this, thank you, that was beautiful. Isn’t the world so much better when we care for each other?
I would like to sell more magazines next year. The best thing that happened this year was getting my sleep apnoea machine.
Craig J, Darlinghurst
The best thing that happened this year was walking the City2Surf, and the biggest challenge was saving up to buy a car. I remember the day I found out that Santa wasn’t real. That was a big surprise!
Charles, Pitt St
Thanks so much to all the people who bought the magazine from me, especially my regulars – some have stuck with me for years. Of course the money is important, but a chat, a laugh and a connection with another human being on a regular basis is really therapeutic. Thanks.
Drew, Central Station & Summer Hill