A CORK man aiming to collect 750 toys for charity ahead of Christmas has reached half of his target already thanks to public generosity.
Denis Casey, from Turner’s Cross, is at the helm of this ambitious Toy Appeal in aid of Cork Penny Dinners and Edel House.
A father of two children, Denis is determined to put a smile on as many children’s faces as possible this Christmas.
“Every year myself and my wife do a round-up of toys in my children’s playroom that aren’t being used and we take them to Penny Dinners,” Denis told The Echo.
“It’s very sad to see the number of children there at Christmas and some of the stories Catriona Twomey has told me have been harrowing.
“This year I wanted to up the game and that’s how the Toy Appeal began. I made all my friends aware of it and asked if they would like to donate anything. From there, I told Everton AFC, as my son plays for the club, and the chairman there was fantastic. We came up with the idea to have a ‘Bring a Toy to Training’ day.”
Denis, who works for Stryker said his workplace has also been incredible in helping to achieve his goal.
“The Corporate Social Responsibility team is organising a ‘Bring a Toy to Work’ day next week,” Denis said.
The scale of Denis’ appeal hugely exceeds anything he could have envisaged.
“I didn’t expect things to blow up like they have done at all,” he said. “The room in our house is completely full and I’ve had to enlist the help of a friend to use his spare room.
“Then the other challenge is trying to keep my own kids away from all the toys. They’re wondering what’s going on and I had to try and explain that dad is helping Santa out as the elves in the North Pole are a bit overstretched.”
So far, people have donated teddy bears, books, toys and even a brand new bike and with such a phenomenal response, Denis is hoping to continue the appeal next year — making it bigger and better.
“I might have to get a warehouse next year if the scale is anything as big as it is this year,” Denis laughed.
To donate to the appeal, contact Denis on 086-2692137.