Although the world of Kev and Alice is virtual, it nonetheless brings a great insight into just some of the issues facing homeless people – where is it safe to sleep? Where’s my next meal coming from? How can I get clean? These are some of life’s basics that most of us take for granted: Kev and Alice show that not everyone is so fortunate. It’s not just practical issues that are reflected in the story: in Kev and Alice we see how the homeless are often ‘invisible’ – both literally and figuratively; the inconsistencies of caring, denial and hostility shown by strangers; how lack of self-esteem can destroy attempts at moving on; how family ties are often stronger than self-preservation.

Sadly the story of Kev and Alice is all too common: homelessness impacts on millions worldwide, in all cultures, economies and environments. But globally, charity workers and campaigners are striving to bring a change to the lives of those affected.

You can help the Kevs and Alices where you live, by supporting one of the organisations below.

- Jane Heeny, Jimmy’s Night Shelter

United Kingdom
Jimmy’s Night Shelter is a Cambridge-based charity open every night of the year, offering food, shelter, warmth, safety and community to up to 31 people who would otherwise be homeless.
Homeless Not Hopeless enables homeless people to offer as well as receive help. They believe that homeless people are a massively untapped resource of skills, creativity, knowledge and experience able to contribute positively to their community.
The Pavement is the free magazine for homeless people in London and Scotland. We are committed to publishing objective reportage, tailored to a homeless readership, and to publicising the complete range of services available to homeless people, to reduce hardship amongst our readers and to enable them to guide their future.
Shelter (England / Scotland) is a UK charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing.
The Big Issue supports homeless and vulnerably housed people in the UK by giving them the opportunity to earn a legitimate income.
Emmaus UK.

International
Habitat for Humanity International seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness by building and renovating homes.
CARE.
Doctors Without Borders.
Dress for Success.

United States
Real Change works locally in Seattle to give homeless and vulnerably housed people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income.
Project Home is a Philadelphia-based charity that helps to provide housing, community development, education and employment.
Front Steps in Austin, Texas, USA.
Western Center on Law and Poverty in California, USA.
People Serving People in Minnesota, USA.
The Women’s Community in Wisconsin, USA.
Hale Kipa in Hawaii.

Australia
Mission Australia.

If you know of any other charities that would be suitable for this page, ask them to email me at:
aliceandkev@roburky.co.uk

26 Responses to “Donate to charity”


  1. 1 eileenandrory June 12, 2009 at 1:54 am

    I am so glad that you have done this :) you could have let people think you might have been poking fun at homeless people. Instead you have chosen to be socially responsible as well as entertaining. I applaud you :)

  2. 2 scherazade June 12, 2009 at 8:23 am

    My sincere respect for giving your creativity a social conscience.

  3. 3 Alastair June 13, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Thanks for the links.

    Making Sims miserable and wet themselves through the careful placement of flowerbeds and other obstacles is all part of the fun. Learning about homelessness is a cunning new twist. Nice to see that the horrors of being of no fixed abode can be explored without having to put real people through it.

  4. 4 Allison June 15, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    This entire website is fantastic, and the fact that you are using the Sims to draw attention to the problem of homelessness is incredible. Kudos and keep it coming!

  5. 5 grownANDsexy June 18, 2009 at 3:43 am

    If you need any help making this a little bigger than it is… just a little bit, like a website or new blog design, let me know. Maybe I can help.

    twitter.om/begrown_besexy

  6. 6 Patrick June 18, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I hate it when I invite homeless people into my house and they sleep in my bed.

  7. 8 jbshephe June 18, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    I want to suggest Dress for Success as another charity to add to the list.

    http://www.dressforsuccess.org/whatwedo.aspx

    They collect used suits and professional clothing to help disadvantaged women (from shelters and such) interview and secure jobs so that they can get back on their feet.

  8. 9 Paul Carroll June 19, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Hey Robin,
    Very nice story going on here! It just so happens I’ve kind of volunteered myself to the internet to write stories for charity, but I’ve been wondering what to do it on. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to focus my attention on it. But thanks to you, I’m going to write one to raise money for a homeless charity. You have some options here to pick from too, which is great, but for now I’m going to try find one I’m more familiar with. Well done on the story so far. I hope it raises lots of awareness for these charities.
    All the best,
    Paul.

  9. 10 Scherazade June 20, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Robin – could you add

    http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/?

    They say ‘Our vision is to see a fairer Australia by enabling people in need to find pathways to a better life away from homelessness’. They do great work. Thanks so much, and for this story that is raising so much awareness.

  10. 11 Kayla June 30, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I’m extremely glad you’ve chosen to add different charities as well as the blog. Homelessness is a very real thing. I would know. A few years ago, we were evicted from our home and lived in a pull-behind trailer for three months before we could find another home. Of course, there are lots of people out there who live on the streets every day just like Alice and Kev. Their stories are a lot more heart-wretching than my own. I’m glad you are highlighting the very real problem that is homelessness. Kudos to you.

  11. 12 SimKarma July 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Very powerful stuff, Robin. As a single mother who is going back to school, my eyes have been opened more recently to other’s struggles in life. One of the organizations locally here in Wisconsin that I encourage both of the clubs I am involved in to donate time and money to is The Women’s Community. They help victims of abuse (yes, they have helped men as well). If you could add their link, I think it would be great to see if they could get some support outside of this smaller community. http://www.womenscommunity.org/

    Maybe you could even add an RSS feed to this blog?

  12. 13 Ryann July 2, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I already do charity dog-walking but I think I’m going to start a new organization, and call it Simspiration. I donate 100% of profits to charity for children in Guatemala

    If anyone has any good ideas for fundraisers, please reply!

    THX

  13. 14 Suzanne July 3, 2009 at 5:25 am

    Is there a charity for homeless children? Seeing Alice with her teddy bear made me weep.

    • 15 CMC September 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks for placing a real spin on your experiment. I find the story of Kev and Alice heartbreaking, but realistic. Since Suzanne asked for charities for homeless children, I thought I’d give you two in the US that I personally know. They both are excellent, and deal with feeding low-income children, like Alice. The first is the Kids Cafe program, that offers free food and snacks to low income children in places like Boys and Girls Clubs. It has over 1.600 sites in operation, according to the website, but I have seen the local one in operation where I live, and it is truly amazing.

      http://feedingamerica.org/our-network/network-programs/kids-cafe.aspx

      Another wonderful organization is Blessings in a Backpack. They provide a selection of food to low-income children to take home over the weekend so they have something to eat when school is not in session. I am a school teacher, and have seen firsthand children whose only meals come from the school. Often these children are the ones that will eat every bite of everything on their tray no matter what was served, and even ask to eat the portions their friends leave behind. The food provided to these kids over breaks offers them something, and lets them know that at least somebody cares.

      http://www.blessingsinabackpack.org/

  14. 16 RuthW July 3, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I’m in love with this story and the message it sends. Please think about adding People Serving People in Minnesota (http://www.peopleservingpeople.org/ ). I’ve been in their care before when my family was homeless and am friends with the volunteers/workers. Please, they need all of the help they can get because other states who don’t wish to deal with their homeless problem send their “problems” to PSP. Thanks.

  15. 19 Bethany July 15, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Could you consider adding the Western Center on Law and Poverty, http://www.wclp.org? It’s a legal services organization based in Los Angeles, CA that engages in legislative and administrative advocacy, and takes on litigation for systemic change, on behalf of low-income Californians statewide. They’ve spearheaded a number of important changes in the way the government provides benefits for struggling California families, and preventing homelessness is one of their primary areas of focus. It’s an incredible organization that’s done a lot of good for needy families.

    Thanks for a terrific blog! You have a real gift, and thank you so much for using it not only to entertain but also to enlighten!

  16. 20 Allie July 24, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Thanks for doing this eye-opening blog. I’ve got another link for you – Hale Kipa (http://www.halekipa.org/) is an organization in Hawaii that provides a wide range of services to at-risk youths like Alice living with issues like poverty, homelessness, abuse, and so on.

  17. 21 Robert Tolmach August 2, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Please consider adding http://www.ClassWish.org, which lets you support the school, teacher or classroom needs of your choice, so kids will have the resources to explore their potential and excel.
    Thanks!

  18. 22 A Classic Yank November 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    How about Homeless for the Holidays for the USA? It’s for food and shelter for Thanksgiving through New Years, and although it gets lots of publicity, it couldn’t hurt to have a little more, yes?

  19. 23 Ryan November 29, 2010 at 2:42 am

    This is really, really awesome. I applaud you and am just…wow, honored to even be able to read your blog. This is a wonderful cause…if I had the money, I’d make the donation. Keep on!

  20. 24 Jess January 1, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I’m glad someone mentioned Blessings in a Backpack. It’s one of my favorite charities, and organizations like it. The difference in a child when they’ve have a good meal the night before is very obvious. They focus better, learn more, and are in better spirits. I’ve never had to worry about where my next meal was coming from, but when I was a kid in school many of my classmates did. One kid I remember always slept in class and wore the same clothes to school every day. I didn’t understand at the time what his problem was and didn’t like him because he disrupted class a lot, but in hindsight he must have had all sorts of home problems. I had a friend for a while, before she moved, who never invited me over to her house except for once, and it was to her aunt’s small townhouse she was living in with a bunch of other people. A lot of homeless kids move around so much that they never get to make close friends.

    By the time I got to high school I was going to a school in a richer area. I’d also started to realize what had been going on around me in elementary. I was shocked at the indifference the students there showed to those less fortunate students. High school was full of drama, but the only thing that still makes me angry is when the club I was in was going to putting on the yearly educational performances for two elementary schools in the area. I argued that they should go the elementary I had attended, and one nearby, because I knew from experience that most of the students there could not afford to go on field trips unless the teacher paid for them, and their parents weren’t going to take them to the museum or zoo, so they don’t get much educational recreation. The club had also never given the performance at either elementary, so I felt it was high time that we did. The other club members, who had gone to a different elementary, actually told me that they didn’t want to go to the “ghetto school” and we ended up going to the same circle of wealthier elementary schools that we visited every year. I nearly cried. You can donate all the cans and do all the volunteering you want, but convincing other people to care is tough.

  21. 25 Bettina Curtis@car donation March 25, 2011 at 9:34 am

    You are absolutely great for doing such good deed. I am no wonder now why people keep on telling you that you are conscientious enough and generous as well to list it here those charities that you think are well deserved to be in this page. I’m so glad that you did that.

  22. 26 a11smart October 18, 2011 at 9:23 am

    RoBurky, I don’t play ‘The Sims’—while brilliant in design, it just never caught me. But the cleverest gamers like to colour outside the lines, and your blog has used it for just that. It’s so inspiring, so moving that I immediately went to a local Tampa (FL, USA) charity, Metropolitan Ministries, to make a donation. The experience is a soul-searching consideration of Games As Art, and I feel better for having stumbled upon it via Joystiq. Thank you, and solidly good work.


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About Me

My name is Robin Burkinshaw, and I am a student of games design in the UK. I am also known in some places as roBurky.
Click for more.
© 2009 Robin Burkinshaw

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