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Wednesday 24 May 2017

Spirits get a little lift with unwanted gifts

Edel O'Connell

UNWANTED Christmas jumpers, socks and gloves destined for life on a shelf will now bring a little festive cheer to the elderly and most vulnerable in our community.

Staff at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin have begun collecting unwanted Christmas gifts for distribution among those who may not have received any presents.

Last year the initiative involved seven vanloads of items being handed out to children, youth groups and the elderly.

The event is being organised by the Pro-Cathedral on Marlborough Street in Dublin and Crosscare -- the social care agency of the archdiocese of Dublin -- which has been distributing unwanted gifts to those less fortunate since 2006.

Fr Damien O'Reilly at the cathedral said the reality of Christmas is most people will have received far more than they want, or need.

However, others, including elderly people living alone and children in deprived areas, may have received very little.

"The gifts have been piling up today and we are heartened by the incredible generosity of people, especially in these tough economic times. It is amazing how much cheer it brings to people to receive a little gift -- it makes them feel less isolated, less alone," he said.

Crosscare said despite tough economic times, they have found the response to this initiative outstanding, with everything from toys to toiletries, and expensive books, socks and gloves being handed in.

Any presents that people received over the holidays but do not want can be brought to the crib at the cathedral until January 6.

They will be collected by Crosscare and distributed to people most in need.

This year Crosscare is also planning to distribute unwanted gifts to elderly people living alone in Dublin's north inner city, which it supports through the Care Local project.

Irish Independent

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