Tuesday 20 February 2018

Give your unwanted Christmas gifts to the homeless - Dublin church pleads

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Chai Brady

A Dublin Church has appealed for unwanted gifts to give to the homeless across the capital.

St Mary’s Pro Cathedral has made space in their crib for unwanted presents this Christmas. Anything, including games, clothes and perfume is welcome.

From Stephen’s Day until January 6 Pro Cathedral will accept the gifts. They will then be distributed by Crosscare, a social care agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Crosscare has revealed that demand for their services has increased due to the lack of suitable housing, which caused a spike in homelessness this year.

In 2016 the agency has provided 127,750 bed nights to over 1,600 homeless people. They have six residences across Dublin in Dun Laoghaire and in Dublin 1, 7 and 8.

They employ 40 staff and provide everything from support services to emergency accommodation.

Parishioners from the Pro Cathedral have fundraised for homeless charities such as Crosscare, The Peter McVerry Trust and the Capuchin Day Centre.

Canon Damian O’Reilly praised them, saying they were delighted to run the Unwanted Gifts (and un-opened) Appeal again this year not just to help in bringing an extra bit of cheer to those who cannot be with their families - but also to ensure that the time, effort and money that went into buying the gifts is put to the best possible use.

The Pro Cathedral is open every day this week from 10am until 5pm, and presents can be kept until 2017 if there’s too many.

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