independent

Sunday 8 December 2019

Operation Hamper set to spread festive cheer

Mallow public urged to lend their support to annual drive

Garda Olga Smyth, one of the co-ordinators of ‘Operation Hamper’ at Mallow Garda Station, with colleagues Sergeant John Foley, Superintendent Billy Duane, Sergeant John O’ Leary and Garda John Fitzgerald
Garda Olga Smyth, one of the co-ordinators of ‘Operation Hamper’ at Mallow Garda Station, with colleagues Sergeant John Foley, Superintendent Billy Duane, Sergeant John O’ Leary and Garda John Fitzgerald

Bill Browne

Since 2012 Gardai in Mallow have been doing their bit to help bring some festive cheer to deserving families from the area in need of some assistance.

Once again their annual 'Operation Hamper' initiative will swing into action over the coming days, with letters going out to local business requesting donations toward the cost of making up hampers for individuals and families.

Garda Olga Smyth, who is part of the steering committee set up to help co-ordinate the appeal, said they had been touched by the manner in which the local community had responded to their appeal over the years. 

"Since we started Operation Hamper the response, not just from businesses but also from individuals within the local community, has been incredible and it has been great to watch as the initiative gets bigger with each passing year," said Olga. 

"Last year for example, we were able to distribute more than 90 hampers to deserving recipients that we either come across during our jobs or who have been recommended to us by members of the public," she added. 

Olga said that sometimes it was difficult for people, who through no fault of their own may find it hard to make ends meet at Christmas, to seek a helping hand.

"For some, Christmas can be a very tough time financially. The whole idea behind Operation Hamper is to bring some festive cheer into deserving households that might otherwise be facing into a bleak festive season," she said. 

Olga said the ongoing success of the initiative has shown that there is a generosity of spirit within the local community and a willingness for people to help those less fortunate than themselves. 

"Local businesses continue to come up trumps each year. The initiative has also been well supported by the wider community, with people making donations of all sizes. No matter how large or small the donation, it means a lot," she said. 

"These hampers may be the only Christmas gift that some recipients receive this year. With that in mind, we are asking that people once again dig deep and help us bring some seasonal cheer into the lives of those who need our help the most." 

Monetary donations can be made at the Permanent TSB branch in Mallow (Iban: ie92IPBS99071314091774) and other non-perishable items for the hampers can be left dropped off for collection at Scoil Ghobnatan. 

"Everyone involved with Operation Hamper would like to thank those who have supported the initiative in the past and urge people to get behind the campaign once again this year," said Olga.

Corkman

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