DONATIONS of clothes, shoes, and toiletries are being sought by the St Vincent de Paul to support the increasing numbers of Ukrainian families who have recently arrived in Cork.
It is estimated that more than 1,200 Ukrainians have arrived in Cork where they are being accommodated in hotels, hostels, convents, and homes. Most people arrive with little more than the clothes they wore having travelled for days and sometimes weeks before their arrival in Ireland.
St Vincent de Paul members have been meeting many groups shortly after their arrival to provide them with much-needed clothes, shoes, and toiletries. They also give them vouchers for Dunnes Stores, Penneys, and other stores to buy personal items and toiletries. They are also provided with vouchers for any SVP charity store in Cork and Kerry.
For more remote locations with large groups, the St Vincent de Paul have set up pop-up shops where large volumes of clothing, shoes, and accessories are provided for them onsite.
Such is the demand that they are now finding its stock of clothing, shoes, toiletries, and vouchers running very low. It is therefore calling for assistance from the public to donate clothes, shoes, and vouchers for further groups expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
The biggest demand is for casual and comfortable wear for ladies and children and casual shoes/runners in sizes which range from 4 to 8 as the majority of those arriving are women and children fleeing the war.
Commenting on the worsening situation, regional president in the South-West Paddy O’Flynn said: “The sadness and despair in the eyes of those children is heart-breaking and we can and must do everything we can to assist them through this difficult period. Our members and staff are working hard to provide urgent assistance to our Ukrainian families.
“I am again asking the public to support our efforts by donating clothes and vouchers which can be dropped into any of our offices and shops throughout Cork and Kerry,” he added.
Donations can be dropped into any St Vincent de Paul shop and offices throughout the South-West region.
Donated items are then sorted, prepared for use, and provided to the Ukrainian families through special Pop-Up shops at the various larger scale accommodation locations and in SVP shops.
Those wishing to make a financial donation may do so by visiting https://www.svp.ie/donate