Showering The Homeless In Kindness
New Zealand Woman's Weekly|November 2, 2020
A man and his vans are restoring self-respect to the most vulnerable
Steve Landells

Behind every good manis a good woman – and in the case of passionate full-time community-service worker Eddie Uini, it’s his beloved mum Barbara.

Eddie works as the sole operator of Orange Sky, the non-profit laundry and shower service which helps hundreds of homeless people in Auckland and Wellington.

However, as South Auckland-based Eddie admits, it was the values instilled in him by his mother and her unwavering support which made Orange Sky a reality in New Zealand.

“Mum was talking to me in the car about what I was passionate about and what I wanted to do with my life,” recalls Eddie, 30. “A homeless man had recently died in his sleep on the steps of a nearby church and they’d also opened a bus shelter for the homeless in Manukau. I’d been living in Australia for a few years, but it really opened my eyes to how bad the situation was in our own backyard and I wanted to help.”

It was during his time in Melbourne that Eddie had become aware of the great work Orange Sky was doing to help their homeless community. So he contacted the Australian-based service to inquire about whether it could be set up in Aotearoa. The initial meeting went well and from October 2018, Orange Sky vans were operating on Kiwi streets.

Eddie may be the frontman for Orange Sky, but it was Barbara who raised him to care for others.

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