A FIVE-YEAR-OLD has spent a year saving up spare change to give to charity.
Mary O'Sullivan's mum Niamh thought her daughter was saving up for a trip to the toy shop, but the kind little girl had different plans.
"She has a money box and it has taken about a year to get it full to the brim.
"I kept saying to her that she could go to Smyth's to get a toy, but no – she wanted to give it to St Vincent de Paul," said the proud mum.
Mary, from Shamrock Lawn, Douglas, Co Cork, spent her time looking for opportunities to gather loose change. She even gave €6 from the tooth fairy to the money box.
"We've always taught our children to be kind and to share. We gave a food parcel to St Vincent De Paul and also gave a toy for a boy and a toy for a girl.
"When two men came to collect a table we were giving to the charity, Mary decided to give her money box as well. We were all just shocked," added Niamh.
Mary has her own views on poverty and believes it is "very sad to see some boys and girls with nothing".
Niamh said her little angel didn't want anything back in return.
"It is so depressing hearing about what is going on in the country at the moment, but Mary has kind of shown that there is a bit of hope," Niamh said.
Meanwhile, workers at insurance company Zurich has been collecting toys for St Vincent de Paul – but not just any old toys.
After over 30 years of working with the charity for their Christmas Toy Appeal, Zurich has become experts at making Christmas wishes come true.
The Zurich staff have been working from 'wish lists' compiled by parents, Barbara McDonnell of St Vincent de Paul revealed.
"A parent will ring up and say they can't afford a bike or a Barbie. Zurich raises the funds to purchase them – and then the staff will get actively involved and go shopping."
SVP volunteers will soon start to distribute the toys to families – and then the magic can truly begin.