Thursday 19 October 2017

This taxi driver is making a generous offer to families in need for Christmas

Joe Freely
Joe Freely

Sasha Brady

A Mayo taxi driver is making a generous offer to families in need this Christmas.

In August, Joe, who runs Joe Maxi Taxi Co., made the headlines when he offered to provide free trips on August 17 to those celebrating their Leaving Cert results.

Instead of a fee, the Ballyhaunis man collected voluntary donations to Pieta House, a charity which helps people in suicidal distress or those who are engaging in self-harm.

It was the third year in a row he made the generous offer and said that he was happy to forgo his usual fee to help those at risk and in order to ensure that people got home safe and sound.

A taxi driver is making a generous donation to families in need this Christmas
A taxi driver is making a generous donation to families in need this Christmas

And this Christmas he has offered to take a family in need out for the day.

"Do you know a family who are finding circumstances difficult to celebrate Christmas?" he wrote on Facebook.

"I am willing to take such a family on a day out to Castlebar/ Sligo /Athlone for a few hours - pm me directly here on Facebook - ' Christmas is for giving'".

The Mayo man has already received two offers and is hoping to take the families out this weekend on a special Christmas outing.

"I don't want to make a big deal out of it," he told Independent.ie.

"But it is important to get the message out there that are families who are struggling. Christmas can be a very difficult time for people, you know, circumstances change for families and they find themselves struggling. It's hard."

A local restaurant, The Oak Cafe and Bar, has offered to treat the families to a free breakfast or late lunch on the day of their Christmas outing and an anonymous lady has offered to pay for fuel, while another has donated a hamper.

"Christmas is about giving back," said Joe.

"Hopefully other people will be inspired to do something similar. It doesn't have to be a big gesture. It can be something as simple as checking in on a neighbour," he said.

"You just don't know what other people are going through. There's a lot of pressure on people nowadays. We need to look after each other."

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