If all else fails during the calendar year, most of us tend to think of Christmas Day (regardless of faith or religious belief) as the one day we spend with family & friends – those nearest and dearest to us – for food, fun and good cheer. And it’s a day spent in the comfort of our own home (or someone’s home). But we expect that it’s always indoors: warm, dry and comfortable.

In our busy day to day we tend to take these things, all too easily, for granted. So much so that we, sadly, find it easy to walk past our fellow human beings – who don’t have the luxury of a warm bed, a hot meal, or even a roof over their heads – and not bat an eye. Vistek’s Derek Shanks spent his Christmas, this year, in the company of some Toronto residents who have found themselves in exactly this situation. The Forgotten – An Urban Christmas 2009 is an incredibly eye-opening photo essay that shines a light on the unfortunate plight of those without benefit of  income, a room to call their own, or even daily sustenance.

It’s far too easy to dismiss those nameless people we pass every day on our way to work and to take for granted all of the riches (both material and otherwise) we possess in our own personal lives. And, despite the bitter cold & unrelenting rain this past Dec. 25, Shanks spent hours giving both a name & a voice to many of them. Visit his blog and meet them for yourselves.

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  • holly

    Good peeps need help! RT @DailyBreadTO Call for Volunteers! 160 people needed to sort 40,000 lbs of food on January 22. http://bit.ly/5e4ChX

  • Jennifer

    Beautiful Derek – the world needs more of this.

  • Thank you Jennifer, I am proud that this project will be continuing in a different light with the support of several fellow photographers including myself. Announcements will be made sometime in February once we have the team ready to go.