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Here's a list of Irish charities that have launched Christmas appeals

It’s the time of giving, after all.

Image: Shutterstock/Igor Bukhlin

AS WE APPROACH the festive season, charities begin their Christmas appeal for what is often the most important fundraising period in their calendar. 

It’s a time when people think a bit more about helping the less fortunate. In a year when most people are just hoping to be able to see their families for Christmas, and shopping is curtailed, that may be a more important theme. 

Because of restrictions prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Christmas fundraising events have been cancelled, so charities have to ask for funding in a different way.  

Here are some of the charities that have begun their Christmas appeals for donations. We will add to it in the run up to Christmas.

1. Aware’s Christmas 5K

The annual Aware Christmas 5K was launched during the week, urging people to come together ‘virtually’ and take on a 5K challenge in support of mental health.

Aware has said it has seen a dramatic increase in demand for its services since March. The NGO’s services include a support line and support mail service, which operate 365 days a year. Aware also delivers a range of wellbeing programmes.

The charity is hoping that the Aware Christmas 5K will raise funds to ensure the organisation can continue to deliver its free support, education and information services.

The challenge runs from Fri 11 – Sun 13 December, and costs €25 to enter.

Participants can walk, run or jog the 5K distance close to home. Private companies are also encouraged to get involved.

Link: Aware.ieChristmas 5K

2. Temple Street Foundation

download Source: DublinTown

During the week, 11-year-old Symone turned on the Christmas lights on Grafton Street, Henry Street, and Capel Street, among others.

This was part of an initiative with Dublin Town, to help promote local, independent businesses in the run up to Christmas, and raise money for Temple Street Children’s Hospital. 

Here are ways you can donate toys or funds to the children’s hospital:

  • You can physically donate toys to Temple Street by dropping them off to our hospital
  • Make a donation to our play department and help us to provide our patients with toys, activities and events throughout the year
  • Support us by purchasing vouchers for our patients such as Penny’s, Smyth’s & One4All vouchers
  • Or make a half & half donation – due to current restrictions it may be easier for your company or community to make a smaller toy donation than usual and make a donation to the play department.

Link: TempleStreet.ie, or Temple Street Toy Appeal

3. St Vincent De Paul, South West

The Cork and Kerry branch of the poverty and housing charity has said that over 200 people in Cork are making calls to them daily asking for assistance in the run-up to Christmas.

It said that the “staggering” number of calls to the regional office come as the charity says it’s facing unprecedented fundraising challenges this year because of Covid-19.

The charity has expressed concerns that up to 40% of its income from its core fundraising could be lost this year as a result of the pandemic, with their annual collections in mid-December set to be significantly reduced, if allowed to take place at all.

You can find a link to donate or volunteer here

The main charity is also asking for donations or gifts in the run-up to Christmas.

Virtual gifts and food appeals have been launched on svp.ie/appeal to make it easier to donate virtual toys and food this Christmas.

Other ways to donate include:

  • Onlinesvp.ie and nominate your local area
  • By phone: 0818 176 176 (ROI) or 028 9075 0161 (NI) and nominate your local area
  • By post: to SVP, PO Box 1234, Dublin 1, cheques made payable to ‘Society of St. Vincent de Paul’ (or direct to a regional office, addresses for which are here: www.svp.ie)
  • Blue envelopes: Keep an eye out for special blue envelopes that will be in newspapers, churches and delivered to homes throughout the country.

4. Purple House Cancer Support Centre 

Farrelly_THE+MUSIC+OF+WHAT+HAPPENS_final+front+cover Source: New Island

The cancer community centre based in Bray offers support and services to people affected by cancer free of charge, and supports families affected by cancer all over Ireland.

In order to continue its helpline in the run up to Christmas, the charity has produced a book called ‘The Music of What Happens’ published by New Island books.

It features a wide range of stories and poems from many Irish writers including a previously unpublished story by the late author Emma Hannigan who passed away in 2018. Alongside the published authors, are stories written by cancer survivors and participants of the Purple House creative-writing class.

All proceeds from the book will go towards keeping the phone lines open in Purple House, funding food parcels for cancer patients as well as helping to keep the rest of their cancer support services going.

You can also donate directly, or buy Christmas cards.

Link: Purplehouse.ie

5. The Snug Project

Copy of TSP_Calendar_2 Source: ALONE

‘The Snug Project’ is a calendar and limited edition prints paying homage to the Irish pub snug, with the proceeds going to the charity ALONE, which supports older people to age at home, safely and securely, for as long as they wish.

It features photos by Finn Richards of pub snugs in Clare, Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Galway, Sligo and Tipperary. 

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Snug locations include Garavan’s on William St, Galway (March); Mulligan’s on Poolbeg St, Dublin, and O’Flaherty’s in Dingle, Co Kerry (pictured above).

Link: TheSnugProject

6. COPE Galway Christmas Swim 

The local Galway charity, which helps the homeless, victims of domestic abuse and senior supports, is doing the Christmas swim differently this year.

It’s asking anyone with a connection to Galway to register online, they will post out a t-shirt, and you can swim at your nearest beach, wherever you live, and post a photo on social media.

You can register or donate here: copegalway.ie

7. Cois Nore Christmas cards

cois nore card

Kilkenny’s Cancer Support Centre, Cois Nore, has launched a new Christmas card for the festive season.

Designed by the world famous Kilkenny based Cartoon Saloon animation studio, the entire proceeds of the sales will go towards important support services for the centre.

The card, which depicts Kilkenny Castle and St John’s Bridge over the River Nore, was printed by Modern Printers, Kilkenny. A bundle of five cards for €6, or two bundles for €10.

Link: Coisnore.ie/online

8. Concern

In Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Somalia, Concern is helping to protect vulnerable people against poverty, hunger, conflict, and now, the Covid-19 pandemic.

As parents in slum communities are losing their jobs to COVID-19, their children are at risk of losing their lives to hunger. The global crisis is pushing families deeper into extreme poverty. The situation is desperate. By this Christmas, up to 10 million more children could face devastating hunger.

Link: Concern

9. Barnardos

The children’s charity have a number of initiatives for people to donate this Christmas, including Christmas decorations, Christmas cards, a call out for companies to get involved, and a fucntion to donate directly.

Link: Barnardos Christmas appeal

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