Good Samaritan donates 68,000 Qantas points to the homeless

Sleeping bags given away in online appeal for generosity

A British man recently appealed to his Facebook friends for some help: he wanted someone to take 68,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points off his hands.

Ben Ellis' Facebook appeal

Ben Ellis’ Facebook appeal Facebook

One of the friends he tagged – Dave Drury – suggested that “we gift something for someone in need more than us and make their day!”

Drury told Eternity that he wants “to encourage people to spend their excess, not-likely-to-be-used airline points on purchasing specific items for people in serious need.”

Speaking to SBS news, Drury said, “I don’t think anyone needs any more crap in their life and why don’t we give them away to the underprivileged.”

If you’ve got points, please consider using them to purchase this sleeping bag that will be given to a homeless person in need.

“I looked at all the different things that were available [in the Qantas store]; I saw sleeping bags were there and just thought about – it was really cold. I thought about the people who were sleeping on the street, and it would be really good to have a good night sleep,” Mr Drury told SBS.

After he received the initial seven sleeping bags, Drury approached pastor Brett White of Kingsway Community Church in Caringbah, Sydney.

“I quickly realised I wasn’t in the position to determine who gets a bag. There are specialists on the ground for that,” Drury told Eternity.

White pointed Drury in the direction of their homeless and abuse victims refuge called Platform Nine. Stef Alan, the manager of the refuge, helped him get in touch with Mack, the first recipient of a sleeping bag. Stef then drew Drury’s attention to an appeal for help from the Coptic Orthodox Community Outreach Service (COCOS).

Thanks to a follow up appeal, Drury has now collected 421,600 points and donated 34 sleeping bags to COCOS, which has been working with the homeless community in Sydney for 20 years.

COCOS offers hot food, tea and coffee, clothing, outreach and even a small chapel where homeless people can encounter God.

Shani Ewington, team leader at COCOS, told Eternity, “I have a Facebook page where I post what our needs are. When I have specific needs, I just post it on the page and hopefully someone comes through with donations.”

“We should treat others the way [we] want to be treated.” – Shani Ewington

“I was really short on blankets, and Dave [Drury] saw the post,” says Shani.

Shani is not religious herself, but says, “we should treat others the way [we] want to be treated.”

The Points for Purpose Facebook page says, “Imagine if you could gather up everyone’s extra, not-likely-to-be-used, soon-to-expire, airline points. How much good could that do? If we can’t put a roof over people’s heads, we can certainly help them keep warm at night. If you’ve got points, please consider using them to purchase this sleeping bag ( that will be given to a homeless person in need. This bag will provide the best solution to a sad situation by giving a warm, dry sleep to one of Australia’s estimated 105,000* homeless people.”

Could you use your airline points to help keep a homeless person warm?

Watch the SBS news report below:

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