The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) has launched an innovative appeal in the run-up to Christmas.
SVP has collected food and toys for families in need in local communities in Cork and around the country for generations. However, due to Covid-19 the safe collection and distribution of toys and food is challenging for SVP volunteers.
Instead, it is seeking financial support and voucher donations for food, gifts and toys instead of the real things. This is the first SVP Virtual Gifts svp.ie/virtualgifts appeal.
“While so many things will be different for us all this Christmas, presents under the tree need to stay the same,” said Rose McGowan, SVP National President. “Due to Covid-19 safety concerns, physical visits to people’s homes are not happening this Christmas. This means that 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, books, music, clothing etc.”
In keeping with the traditional SVP Giving Tree, donors can choose a bauble representing whom they would like to buy a gift. Donors can also choose what region they would like their donation used in. SVP has partnered with Me2You to provide the gift cards. All donated gift cards will be distributed through local SVP offices and used to help families in need purchase those gifts all children deserve, such as a first bike, a new pair of pyjamas or a boardgame for the whole family.
For those who like to donate food each Christmas, SVP has also launched a new Virtual Food Appeal at svp.ie/virtualfoodappeal. Donors are invited to buy a virtual hamper online.
SVP has also created the Empty Plate Appeal and the Empty Toy Box Appeal.
The Empty Plate Appeal is in partnership with EUROSPAR. Shoppers are invited to donate non-perishable food items at local EUROSPAR stores. EUROSPAR will then calculate the value of food donated and provide SVP volunteers with the equivalent value in EUROSPAR vouchers.
The SVP Empty Toy Box Appeal is sponsored by Smurfit Kappa. People are invited to visit their local SVP Vincent’s shop, and buy an empty toy box for €5. All donations will be used in the community they are bought to help ensure that children and families have what they need this winter.
Donations can also be made:
Online: svp.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.