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A Barnardos charity shop sign covered in snow Alamy Stock Photo
Unwanted Christmas Gifts

Barnardos appeal for unwanted Christmas gifts to help fund the charity's work

‘Something we don’t necessarily want could be another person’s potential treasure if someone donated it.’

DID YOU RECEIVE an item of clothing this Christmas that was too big or too small?

Or were you gifted a book you’ve already read (or don’t want).

Children’s charity Barnardos is calling on the public to donate their unwanted Christmas gifts to their shops, where all the money generated from donated items will go towards their work with children and families across Ireland in 2024.

Barnardos work in 54 service locations, including family homes, schools, and early learning and care centres.

Last year, the charity worked with 20,838 children and their families.

“We’re all guilty of shoving things in a drawer when we get things we don’t necessarily want,” Bernadette Harrington, Barnardos retail shops manager, told The Journal.  

“So we’d love to receive those goods because that’s another person’s potential treasure that could be put in shops if someone donated it.

“You may get a lovely Mary Berry cookery book, but you might be more of a Hairy Bikers sort of person so it wouldn’t necessarily be for you.

“Or maybe the clothing or Christmas jumper is a bit too small or big and we’d be delighted to receive those and any of the money raised goes directly to the work of Barnardos nationwide in Ireland.

“Don’t put it in the drawer, give it to Barnardos.”

Harrington told The Journal that Barnardos “work in a lot of different ways”, including with children that have been affected by childhood trauma or the impact of poverty, domestic violence, child abuse or neglect.

She added: “Sometimes parents are having to deal with their own mental health issues, perhaps separation or bereavement or also addiction.

“It’s in a wide variety of ways we help and we work across 54 centres.”

Harrington also explained that the help Barnardos provides is “led by the needs that have come more to the forefront over the years”.

“We react to those needs, rather than saying this is only what we provide.

“There are certain areas that we will be an expert in but we very much are led by the community that we’re in and identify those needs.”

Harrington added that when people drop off unwanted gifts into one of Barnardos stores, they might even find something they do like.

“While you’re dropping off your unwanted gifts, you may have a look in our stores and find something that’s just perfect for you that someone else has dropped off, so it’s a win-win.

“It’s sustainable, so it’s a really good thing to do across the board.”

When asked about the sustainability aspect of the appeal, Harrington remarked that there is something of a “movement” happening now because people are more aware of the impacts of fast fashion.

“People are more and more aware of what’s actually involved in producing fast fashion and people want to change how they shop,” said Harrington.

“By shopping in a charity shop and shopping with Barnardos, there’s lots of different interesting items that you can get,” she added.

“When you go into a normal store, you tend to have similar items within one store, but with us you can have anything.

“From vintage, to right up-to-date items, to great books, toys for your children, things for your home, it really can be a treasure trove.”

A list of Barnardo stores and their opening times can be found here.

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