A new charity appeal will see a large number of schoolbags being delivered from Donegal to Dublin this winter to help people experiencing homelessness.
The charity project, which started just a week ago, has received overwhelming support from kind-hearted Donegal people who want to offer comfort to people in need.
The idea began with Annagry woman Linda Ní Ghallchóir, who saw an appeal from a homeless charity on Facebook and wanted to make a difference.
With over 10,000 people homeless in Ireland, charities are in need of all the support they can get.
Linda decided to start a school bag appeal for Donegal – where people can fill bags with essential items to help people who are living on the streets or in emergency accommodation.
Clothes, toiletries, first aid kits, dry foods, batteries and Christmas cards are just some of the items that are being added to the schoolbags so far.
Linda has arranged drop off points all around the county for the schoolbags to be collected before 14th November. They will then be checked and delivered to Dublin for distribution by volunteers with the Homeless Mobile Run.
“We had an amazing response, and so many offers to help and so many businesses going to do the collections,” Linda told DW.
“I’m also in contact with the North West Simon Community. There are thirty people who are homeless in Donegal so we are going to get bags sent to them too.”
The bags should be suited to adults, Linda said, as she is in contact with some local schools to prepare separate gifts for children.
If you would like to donate a bag to the charity project, here are some suggestions for what to pack:
- Please ensure bags are in good condition, no holes, straps in good condition and zips working.
- Toiletries – toothbrush and paste, hand sanitizer, hand creams, roll-on deodorant, large bandaids, harsh weather creams, lip balm, mini sudocrem .. (nothing with alcohol, no aerosols or things that are messy or could burst in the bags. )
- A toiletries bag (even a good-sized pencil case)
- Mini sewing and first aid kits.
- Nail clipper, comb/brush
- Reusable Water bottle
- Clothes – Socks, gloves, hat, scarves, thermals.
- Foods like beef jerky, granola bars, chocolate, mints, sweets (nothing overly chewy please)
- Torch or head lamp, some spare batteries
- Christmas card and anything else you think might be useful.
**Please don’t include money, medications like pain killers etc, alcohol, personal information, or anything dangerous.**
“Everyone has an idea of what their own comforts are, so if they want to put those items in the bags, it will mean so much to someone on the streets,” Linda said.
“The Homeless Mobile Run are always looking for volunteers in Dublin too, they meet on a Wednesday night on Grafton Street if anyone wants to offer their time.”
Collection Points: (Please drop bags before 14th November)
- Rosses CDP Dungloe (Main gathering hub)
- Pobail Le Chéile Falcarragh,
- Kelly’s Furniture, Falcarragh
- Dunlewey Community Centre.
- The Country Roads Inn Rossnakill.
- Sweeney Hardware & Plumbing Gaoth Dobhair.
- An Craoibhin Termon
- Cope Bar & Niteclub Killybegs
- Rachel Leeper’s Hair & Makeup Raphoe.
- Ulster Tyres Letterkenny And Ballybofey
- Autoclean Detailing Ballybofey.
- Finn Valley Centre Stranorlor
- Strand Hotel Ballyliffin
Please visit the School bags for the homeless. Donegal to Dublin Facebook page for more updates or for any questions.