The St. Vincent de Paul organisation in Mullingar held their annual collection outside local churches last Sunday, and has made it clear that many additional families are now struggling to survive, and they expect to be dealing with nearly twice as many appeals for assistance this Christmas when compared to 2020.
The charitable group have posted out up to 10,000 appeal letters in the Mullingar area and they have received a worthwhile response to date. They point out that all financial help is valuable, because of the very difficult circumstances of people. Some families have not enough and were trying to choose between paying overdue rent or electricity bills and buying food and the fuel to keep their home warm.
The Mullingar branch President of the society, Michael Donohoe, indicated that last Christmas they helped around 300 families, and already this year they had received over 400 requests for help, and they believe that the overall number will be closer to twice what it was last year.
The Society points out that their activities have been seriously hit by the pandemic, with their income affected. They are unable to carry out their traditional annual door-to-door collections at Christmas time, and their monthly church door collections were also hit. Likewise their shops in Mullingar and elsewhere had been closed for almost two years, and this is why their income had been so much affected.
Thanking people who had already responded to their appeal, he indicated that all donations they receive to their appeal letters would be needed, because so many people are in difficulties. They have sent out letters across the rural areas in addition to Mullingar, and are hoping that they will be able to deal with all the requests they receive.
Jim Buckley, another Society member, explained that it isn’t just at this time of year the St. Vincent de Paul Society assists people, as there’s constant requests made to them for help and they issue fuel and food vouchers to needy people. They also assist people who run into difficulties with necessary payments, like rents or electricity costs, etc.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society is supported by Mullingar Lions Club which seeks to complement their work and also assists them financially and on the ground and the two organisations are both working together in assisting those in most need.
People who are in need of help can get in touch with the St. Vincent de Paul Society by calling their Freephone number 1800 677 777 – from where the request will be forwarded to the local branch, and all calls and requests are dealt with in strict confidence, as help is given.