By Cian Molloy - 02 December, 2019
The Society of St Vincent de Paul is looking for Christmas Elves and Christmas Angels to help thousands of Irish families who are in need this winter.
The society wants schools, companies, community groups and sports clubs to take part in a food appeal to provide these families with essential items as well as Christmas treats.
The charity will provide those taking part in the appeal with Christmas Elf posters to display on their premises, plus a list of suggested food items, delivery information and a delivery docket to help with the logistics of distributing your donated goodies.
Food should be non-perishable with an expiry date well into 2020, and to help SVP volunteers in distribution centres the food should be unwrapped and in shopping bags, as opposed to being donated in hampers.
Collected food items will need to be taken to one of the eight regional drop-off points located around the country – you can find their contact details here.
However, time is of the essence, as some distribution centres will not be able to handle donations after this week. The SVP needs to receive any food donations for the West Region (Galway, Mayo and Roscommon) by this Thursday 5 December at the latest, and donations for the East Region (Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow) must be received by this Friday 6 December.
The cut-off dates for other regions range from Friday 13 December to Wednesday 18 December – check on the website linked above.
Where a group of Christmas Elves get organised in a company, the SVP is asking that company’s directors to be Christmas Angels.
“We love to receive donations of food and toys, but sometimes we need the flexibility of cash donations to help families struggling to meet expenses such as heating or medical bills,” says SVP national president Kieran Stafford. “If your employees are taking part in the Food Appeal or Giving Tree, your company could use this as an opportunity to match their efforts.”
Companies that make donations can have their corporate logo displayed on a special ‘Christmas Angels’ webpage being organised by the SVP. The charity will also provide participating companies with a special ‘email footer’ that employees can use in their communications over the Christmas period, plus a certificate that can be displayed on staff notice-boards.
“Like a Christmas Angel, your gift of hope could bring little miracles to those who need it most this winter,” said Mr Stafford. “Thank you so much for your support – Christmas would not be the same without you.”
As always, anyone can make a donation to the SVP by calling 01 884 8200 or by dropping into their local St Vincent de Paul office.