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Dublin: 18 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020
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Meet the woman trying to bring Christmas to homeless people

She needs your help to make it happen.

A NEW INITIATIVE aims to ensure homeless people are remembered during the Christmas season.

12219587_443219239211707_1165545665866797208_n Source: Facebook

People are being asked to donate small items or edible treats as part of Hampers for the Homeless.

Therese Cullen came up with the idea after years of making Christmas hampers for her family and friends.

She told TheJournal.ie she felt compelled to act as the homelessness crisis worsened this year, and after Storm Abigail signalled the beginning of harsher weather this winter.

Cullen is based in Tipperary, but has received offers of support from all over the country.

She said the ethos behind the initiative is “to make Christmas that little bit more special for those with so little, and show them that they’re not alone”.

Everyone deserves to feel a little bit special and not to feel so alone at Christmas time. I want to do something nice for people in need – even if it just gives them a couple of moments of joy.

Cullen is looking for people to donate items such as food, warm clothes and toiletries.

“I also want to put a miniature Christmas tree into each hamper because everyone deserves to have a Christmas of some shape or form,” she said.

Therese Cullen Therese

“People have been brilliant, within hours of the Facebook page going live I had hundreds of offers of hampers from people all around the country and internationally from ex-pats.”

Cullen is now looking for businesses willing to act as drop-off and collection points, as well as for volunteers to help deliver the hampers on the weekend starting on Friday, 18 December.

The support has been incredible and together I think we’re going to be able to do something really special this Christmas.

Cullen said she is not looking for monetary donations as “people have a huge amount of pressures on them financially at this time of year”.

“Instead, if there’s an item or a few items which you have that you would like to donate – from an un-used jar of hand cream to a nice bar of chocolate, it would be greatly appreciated.”

People who wish to donate, can get more information on Facebook or by emailing hampersforthehomeless@gmail.com.

Read: Leading NGOs say ‘government wrangling’ has delayed action on the homelessness crisis

Read: Dublin homeless offered free haircuts in new initiative

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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