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Nov 18, 2019-Monday



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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Heartbreaking pic shows boy, 5, eating off cardboard box. People offer help

Shared by volunteering group The Homeless Street Cafe on Facebook, the image shows a young boy hunched over a cardboard box kept in front of him.

it-s-viral Updated: Oct 18, 2019 14:03 IST
Trisha Sengupta
Trisha Sengupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Many people came forward to offer help.
Many people came forward to offer help. (Facebook/The Homeless Street Cafe)

An image of a 5-year-old Irish boy eating on the side of a street from a cardboard box has evoked a wave of emotions among people. The image – which is being called heartbreaking by many – has left people saddened and some enraged. The image which subsequently went viral collected a wave of support from social media and many came forward to offer help for the boy.

Shared by volunteering group The Homeless Street Cafe on Facebook, the image shows a young boy hunched over a cardboard box kept in front of him. The caption accompanying the image explains the context.

“We are home after another incredibly busy night. I’m exhausted, weary and emotional and should (guiltily) go to bed BUT there is an image burnt in all the teams minds tonight,” reads the post. “It’s wrong and it’s distressing but this IS happening and it’s only getting worse each week,” it reads further. The post goes on to reveal that the boy named Sam was “eating a dinner of carbonara on a sheet of cardboard.” The post ends with a haunting question, “Can we really accept this?”

Since being shared on October 16, the post has gathered over 10,000 reaction, close to 9,300 shares, and more than 2,300 comments.

The group, in a comment on the same post, thanked everyone for the support they received for Sam. “Thank you so much everyone for your overwhelming response and for not just accepting that this is ok,” reads the post.

“This post has reached over a quarter of a million people which is amazing and we have over a thousand comments and messages to go through. We are small volunteer group and all our team are back in their day jobs today so please bare with us as we navigate through our next steps. Our priority as always is continuing to support the homeless who come to us each week and the children among them that “Sam” represents,” the post reads further.

The post concludes with a bit of information about Sam. “To confirm ‘Sam’ is in emergency accommodation and attends school. His mother is simply trying to access nutritious home cooked meals for him. Most emergency accommodations strictly forbid cooking or food preparation.”

While many were saddened by the incident, there were those who reacted angrily. A few also thanked the group for their work. Several others offered their help.

“You are more than amazing!!!! Anyone being a single person, small business/voluntary organisation, community that help others from the goodness’s of their hearts are absolute earth angels!!!! Time for change and as soon as possible!! MARCH and PROTESTS needed ASAP,” wrote a Facebook user.

“So sad, shame on this country,” commented another. “This is so very heartbreaking,” wrote a third.

“My god this is just devastating and so hard to see as a mother of 2 little boys my heart is broke looking at this picture we need to take a stand as a country, things need to change I applaud you guys and the exceptional work you do! Fair play to you all,” commented a fourth.

“How can you donate clothes for Sam?” inquired a sixth. “The Homeless Street Cafe do you accept donations ? clothes toys etc,” commented another on a similar notion.