The Big Issue : Edition 435
FLOWER POWER I’ve been a fan of your magazine ever since my dad brought home a copy in April. We’re from the Philippines and have been in Australia for a year now. I really find The Big Issue an interesting magazine, not only because of its content but also because of its cause. Last week, we went down to Perth and as I was walking in the CBD, I saw a man selling The Big Issue. He had some flowers just below where he was standing. I got some money, and walked up to him and said, “I really love this magazine. Can I buy one please?” He happily gave me one and, to my amazement, said, “Take one of these flowers. Thank you for helping me.” It was such a good feeling, knowing I have something good to read and that I have helped someone in return. More power to The Big Issue, and I salute all the vendors! Andrea Leal, South Hedland,WA The vendor mentioned is John, who sells opposite His Majesty’s Theatre. Andrea wins a copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (see p30). your say ‘Your Say’ submissions must be 100 words or less, contain the writer’s full name and home address, and may be edited for clarity or space. Have Your Say about The Big Issue: • email firstname.lastname@example.org • post The Big Issue, GPO Box 4911, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 • facebook The Big Issue Australia • twitter @thebigissue letter of the fortnight Imagine my surprise when Big Issue vendor Gerry greeted me yesterday in Glenelg! He remembered my first name and the country of my birth, even though we had not seen each other for several months. Well done, Gerry – I remembered your name because you had your badge on! Anne Parnis, Glenelg, SA While buying a coffee today I saw a man and his dog selling The Big Issue outside the cafe. I used my change to buy the magazine and I’m really glad I did. The vendor (and his dog, Mr Boots) were lovely. He was appreciative of my purchase as he is saving for a car. It makes me really appreciate how fortunate I am. I know that I feel like I am always without money, but there has never been a time when I have gone without food, shelter, transport and a warm bed. Ash Watson, Ngunnawal, ACT Sounds like you’re talking about Daniel. He and Mr Boots are a great team. – Ed I was shocked by Maree Reedman’s article (‘Love Birds’, Ed#433). Has she not once considered that no bird is meant to be caged? I lost count of the number of budgies and the ways they died in her story. Maree says she “can’t handle the continual losses”. What about the total loss of freedom that every caged bird endures? Clearly their loss extends to the point of cancer and other stress-related illnesses in some cases. Give those “bigger birds” you have in mind a break, Maree, and turn your love for birds to campaigning against the caging of creatures that are meant to fly. How about becoming a twitcher and enjoying them in their natural habitat? Kerry Lawrence, Ashgrove, Qld As the city bustled with Saturday afternoon activities recently, there was a peaceful and poignant event taking place behind closed doors on Melbourne’s Swanston Street. At the annual DonateLife service of @ChiefexecRuah Just bought the new digital edition of @thebigissue – congrats on the innovation. @rainbowpolly Love the fact @thebigissue is going digital! remembrance, transplant recipients shared their stories with donor families. These were stories of families who, despite their grief, agreed that their loved ones’ organs should give others the chance to live, and thus spare families the sorrow they were enduring. And, as recipients expressed their gratitude for a second chance at life, humanity at its best was palpable. This ordinary crowd of husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters later mingled over a cuppa, all with extraordinary stories to share. As a live kidney donor and ambassador for DonateLife, I urge us all to discover the facts about organ donation, make a decision and discuss that decision with our families. Janine Joseph, Prahran East, Vic My best vendor is Kelvin in Adelaide. He told me he has bad health, but he keeps on working. He always knows what’s in the mag and he’s well informed. He does the morning rush in the CBD and sometimes I buy him a coffee, which he enjoys. Kelvin is featured in the 2013 calendar [as Mr January] and is out there – rain, hail or shine – so keep your eye out for him. K Ford, Adelaide, SA 10 thebigissue21Jun–4Jul2013 @ahmedyussuf10 Happy 17 th Birthday to @thebigissue – great organisation that helps so many people from every walk of life.