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"Thank you", says St Vincent de Paul after generous Christmas donations

In December, the charity made an appeal for toys and money after stocks ran low.

Image: Donations via Shutterstock

AS CHRISTMAS 2013 approached, St Vincent de Paul had to appeal for money and toys due to a drop in donations.

Now, a month later, the charity has taken out ads in newspapers thanking those who contributed to the ‘We can’t do it alone’ appeal.

The ads contain a thank you from SVP National President Geoff Meagher, where he says that:

The generous response we received was vital not just in helping SVP bring toys, food and assistance to 175,000 families at Christmas, but also in helping us support the many thousands of families in need throughout 2014.

A spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that the ads were most likely paid for using corporate donations and not donations to local SVP charities, as the money sent locally is used locally by each branch.

He said that SVP wanted to “thank people – they have been so generous in the annual appeal time in November and December”.

He said that a lot of people “are struggling themselves” and that there was also an impact from the charity top-ups scandal. Calls for help from SVP have more than doubled in the past five years.

“In the circumstances this year we felt that people were particularly generous,” he said. “A lot of people are struggling themselves but managing to find money for SVP.”

Despite the generosity, the charity estimates that donations were down by about 10 per cent this year. There was an impact in the middle of December, but recovery was seen in the last week coming up to Christmas, particularly online.

When it emerged that SVP needed not just money, but other items, people responded. “That’s what the thank you is for – not just for the financial donations, but the donations of toys and indeed food as well,” said the spokesperson. “We got a great response in the last 10 days before Christmas.”

He said the ads were “the most economic way to say thank you to people in a general way”.

Read: St Vincent de Paul appeals for money and toys as donations fall>

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