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Cathedral appeals for unwanted Christmas gifts

By Sarah Mac Donald - 27 December, 2013

Hundreds of people alone for Christmas received gifts that were unwanted in 2012.

Fr Damien O'Reilly of St Mary's Pro Cathedral in Dublin. Photo: courtesy RTE

Fr Damien O’Reilly of St Mary’s Pro Cathedral in Dublin. Photo: courtesy RTE

Dublin’s Pro Cathedral has appealed to the public to donate their unwanted Christmas gifts to Crosscare.

Staff at St Mary’s have urged people to think of those most in need, specifically young people living on the margins and the homeless, before they start looking for gift receipts to exchange unwanted presents from Christmas Day.

In a statement, administrator, Fr Damien O’Reilly, appealed to people to support one of Dublin’s busiest charities.

Every year Crosscare’s unwanted gifts scheme results in those most in need receiving some Christmas cheer.

On Christmas Day, hundreds of people without families or friends to spend Christmas with received gifts from Crosscare staff that were unwanted in 2012.

Any surplus gifts, that were not needed for people in need, were sold during the year in Crosscare’s, Blanchardstown service, and the money raised was given back to the homeless services for essential supplies.

“This simple scheme allows Crosscare to give a gift to someone in their services who would not normally receive one,” Fr O’Reilly said.

“It is also a reminder to us all of how we can get needlessly caught up in wasteful commercialism at this time of year.” 

He stressed how Pope Francis has consistently preached about the need to control waste in our world – using gifts you don’t need to give to those who have little, is one small gesture of sharing that can help, he said.

Fr O’Reilly said that Dublin parishioners had already been extraordinarily generous to Crosscare this month with 70 tons of food collected for the Diocesan Food Appeal.

“The unwanted gifts appeal will make sure that as well as the essentials, people who are struggling with life, will get a small token of cheer each Christmas,” he added. 

Unwanted presents can be brought to the crib in the Pro Cathedral in Dublin until 6 January. 

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