St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has reached out to the public for support during what has been described as the most difficult appeal in the charity’s 176-year history.
Launching the Annual Appeal, SVP National President, Rose McGowan, said that between January and early November almost 112,000 requests for help had already been received by the organisation.
Ms McGowan described how the loss of churchgate collections due to Covid-19 restrictions has affected the charity which aims to fight poverty and promote social justice. “This year anyone donating online or by phone will have the opportunity to direct their donations to a specific locality in the country,” she said.
“This will enable those who may previously have donated to their local SVP Conference at a church gate collection to donate online or over the phone to that Conference instead.
“As physical visits to people’s homes are not happening, the ability of the Society to deliver food hampers or toys is limited. So, in addition to financial donations, SVP is appealing for vouchers which can be exchanged for food and gifts of all kinds: toys, book, music, clothing.”
The appeal comes just weeks after the charity spoke to the Echo about the struggles facing families and young children.
John Warren, who forms part of the emergency accommodation committee of St Vincent De Paul, spoke of a number of families who have been stuck in emergency accommodation for more than two years.
“We are dealing with families who have been living in hotel rooms for more than two years,” he said. “Children have certain needs that just can’t be met in a hotel room,” he said. “Now, things are even more difficult for people. Families can’t go out to cafes or cook in the space where they are. Instead, many have to avail of fast food and it’s difficult to make your salary or social welfare stretch that far. People don’t have a choice in where they get to stay. When you take all these things into account living in emergency accommodation actually works out quite expensive.”