Official Website of The Big Issue:
“The Big Issue” was recommended to me this year by one of the juniors. It is a magazine sold by homelessness, thus I thought ”The Big Issue” is a charity which helps people as usual though I felt there might have something different. Recently, I took some time to look into it and found it is a special organization.
“The Big Issue” is a magazine launched in 1991 by John Bird and his old friend Gordon Roddick, who both were once homeless, in order to address the problem of homelessness. “The Big Issue” is not a charity, it is a business”, said John Bird, who was once an orphan, a people with violence, a homelessness. He clearly knows what a homelessness really needs is an opportunity instead of a great deal of sympathy, which charities cannot give out.
There is an idea John Bird shared that really astonished me, “What charities give is relief, but what the homelessness really need is an opportunity, a job. Job can bring one socialization, friendship, responsibility and an opportunity to work for oneself so that one do not need to live depend on either the country or your parents. It is the job that makes those no use whatsoever awake.”
As an ex-homelessness, I think John Bird is the most qualified one to say these and I can totally believe on what he said was true. I will help those who sold chewing gums even I do not like to eat it, but have never given money to beggars since I do not know if it is a right thing to do. Just like what John Bird said, “Giving without reservation is not an opportunity, it even cannot be regarded as respect.”
The Big Issue runs as a business organization, yet unlike others, job seekers have to proof that they are homelessness or is a close-on-hand homelessness at first. Then there are something The Big Issue will educate their employees. They could get a number of free copies of the magazine at first, once they sold these magazines they need to purchase the further copies and earn the net profit as a worker. Although what they could earn seems not enough to us, they could live much better and happier. And for those who would like to give them a hand can help them as a more respectable way.
Finally, here is a little advertisement for “The Big Issue”. There is a report about a famous band in Taiwan called “SodaGreen” in this month. Besides, if you buy the magazine, you can get the band’s poster and stickers!