SVdP ap­peal­ing for your help to make a dif­fer­ence this Christ­mas


The Corkman - - NEWS - BILL BROWNE

“YOU can help save some­one from a life of poverty”.

That is the sim­ple but heart­felt theme of this year’s St Vin­cent de Paul sea­sonal ap­peal, with the char­ity once again call­ing on peo­ple from the Mallow area to dig deep and help shine some light into the lives of peo­ple in need.

Speak­ing to The Cork­man Noirin Brennan, the pres­i­dent of the St Vin­cent de Paul’s (SVdP) Mallow Con­fer­ence, said they ex­pect to spend in the re­gion of €40,000 dur­ing the month of De­cem­ber alone help­ing some 400 fam­i­lies in the parishes of Mallow, Killavullen, Bal­ly­clough and Burn­fort.

“This is up on the fig­ure for last year, show­ing that in spite of con­stantly hear­ing that Ire­land has a buoy­ant economy, the most vul­ner­a­ble within our society have yet to see the ben­e­fits of that,” said Ms Brennan.

The De­cem­ber spend will bring to more than €200,000 the amount that the con­fer­ence will have spent this year help­ing fam­i­lies to cover the cost of ba­sic items that the ma­jor­ity of us take for granted.

“De­spite gen­eral im­prove­ments in the wider economy, we are still find­ing the need in Mallow still re­mains high, with many fam­i­lies just sur­viv­ing from week to week,” said Ms Brennan.

For ex­am­ple, the Mallow con­fer­ence dis­trib­utes in the re­gion of 50 bags of food each week to lo­cal fam­i­lies in need, at a cost of around €25 per bag – equat­ing to a cost of around €70,000 per year.

The con­fer­ence has also spent in the re­gion of €50,000 on heat­ing (coal and oil) and around €25,000 on ed­u­ca­tional needs (school books and cloth­ing) dur­ing the course of this year.

“We be­lieve that ed­u­ca­tion in par­tic­u­lar is one of the key ways for peo­ple to es­cape the cy­cle of poverty,” said Ms Brennan.

The re­main­ing an­nual spend is made up through var­i­ous dif­fer­ent ex­penses that fam­i­lies in­cur but sim­ply to not have the fi­nances at their dis­posal to cover.

Ms Brennan said that while there have been mod­est in­creases in so­cial wel­fare pay­ments, th­ese have for the most part been ab­sorbed by in­creases in heat­ing costs, ris­ing rents and the on­go­ing strug­gle for fam­i­lies to meet ed­u­ca­tional costs.

She said it was not just those on so­cial wel­fare with low in­comes who are strug­gling each week to make ends meet, point­ing out that two in­come fam­i­lies whose earn­ings fall above the thresh­old for a med­i­cal card are also strug­gling to sur­vive un­der the con­stant pres­sure of mort­gage re­pay­ments, taxes, health in­sur­ance, child­care and nu­mer­ous other ex­penses.

“Un­for­tu­nately, in the Mallow area to­day, for too many peo­ple it can take one bill or a small prob­lem to tip a fam­ily into cri­sis and poverty. Peo­ple be­come poor through a lack of re­sources and find them­selves ex­cluded from the or­di­nary liv­ing pat­terns, ac­tiv­i­ties and cus­toms within society,” said Ms Brennan.

“It can be an ill­ness or un­ex­pected bill that pushes a fam­ily be­yond their fi­nan­cial lim­its, but we know that a lit­tle help can stop the domino ef­fect for a fam­ily ex­pe­ri­enc­ing pro­longed hard­ship,” said Ms Brennan. She said that de­spite the on­go­ing generosity of the lo­cal com­mu­nity, the con­fer­ence is find­ing their re­sources are “in­creas­ingly stretched” try­ing to sup­port those who need their help the most.

“This year we are mak­ing a large ef­fort to dis­tin­guish be­tween need and want and while we are com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing the needy in what ever way we can, we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to use our re­sources wisely on be­half of those who con­trib­ute to SVdP and en­sure fair­ness be­tween com­pet­ing de­mands for help,” said Ms Brennan.

“We have a duty to deal with those seek­ing help in a non-judge­men­tal way and de­pend on their open­ness and hon­esty.”

She said none of this would be pos­si­ble with­out the on­go­ing generosity of peo­ple from the Mallow area and the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity.

“There are many ex­am­ples of large and small do­na­tions – all of which have made an im­mense dif­fer­ence. Sim­ply put, we could not do what we do with­out all the gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tions we re­ceive on a weekly ba­sis, and es­pe­cially at Christ­mas, from the peo­ple of the Mallow area,” said Ms Brennan.

“Our sin­cere thanks go out to ev­ery­one who has helped in any way to help shine some light into the lives of those who need our help the most.”

Peo­ple can con­trib­ute to the SVdP ap­peal through the church gate col­lec­tion in Mallow this com­ing Sun­day, by leav­ing do­na­tions at the Oz­nam Cen­tre in Mallow or by con­tact­ing 022 50188 or 086 269 3571.

Noirin Brennan (2nd left), Pres­i­dent of the St Vin­cent de Paul Mallow Con­fer­ence, pre­par­ing fes­tive ham­pers with fel­low mem­bers Donal Du­lo­h­ery, Mar­ion Cremin and Sheila Crow­ley.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.