Over 200 people in Cork are making calls to St Vincent De Paul (SVP) daily seeking assistance from the charity in the run-up to Christmas.
The staggering number of calls to the regional office come as the charity says it’s facing unprecedented challenges this year as COVID 19 has led to the cancellation of the majority of their fundraising events.
The charity has expressed concerns that up to 40% of their income from their core fundraising this year could be lost as a result of the pandemic, with their annual collections in mid-December set to be significantly reduced, if even permitted to take place.
Speaking at the launch of their annual Christmas appeal, SVP South West’s Regional President Paddy O’Flynn said that this year it was “more important than ever” to support the Christmas raffle taking place on January 7th.
He said: “The people of Cork have always been very generous to us. This has been an exceptionally challenging year for SVP but particularly for the families and the people that we support. We depend on the generosity of our brilliant donors and we’re asking them to support us if at all possible, for this annual car draw raffle.
“We will reach out to many families and individuals for Christmas this year to ensure that they have enough food and some Christmas treats to mark the season, as we always do.
“However, our fundraising needs remain high and we are turning to online appeals and distributing the SVP blue envelope to homes throughout the region in addition to our annual car draw and we would be extremely grateful for any support that we receive. Each and every single ticket sold will make a difference and we want to take this opportunity to thank the people of Cork for all of their support this year to date,” Mr O’Flynn added.
In addition to supporting families in the run up to and throughout the festive period, the charity continue to provide up to 450 homes across Cork City with regular coal deliveries during the winter and are delivering approx. 160 food hampers every week to families in need through the SVP Cork Hampers projects.
It is estimated that over 1,600 food hampers will be distributed in the run-up to Christmas.
Last Christmas, over 6,600 families were visited by SVP volunteers in Cork, and Mr O Flynn said the charity was determined to continue to offer families help and hope over the festive season.
“Since March when this pandemic hit, we continued to find new ways to contact and help the families that we assist, we couldn’t do this without the support of the people of Cork and we really do appreciate it. It has been a tough year but we are committed to ensuring that all of the families who need our help will be supported irrespective of the challenges that we face.
“We know from our conferences that there has been a big increase in fear and loneliness amongst callers – people are really missing the company of family, friends and home visits which up to March were the bedrock of SVP. We want to help and assist people as much as we can and do our utmost to make sure that no one is left feeling alone this Christmas,” Mr O’Flynn concluded.
SVP’s Annual Car Draw for 2020 will be the primary fundraising event for the charity this year.
Tickets for the raffle cost €5 each and can be purchased online or raffle tickets can be returned in the freepost SVP envelope or can also be brought to the SVP Regional Office at Ozanam House, 2 Tuckey Street, Cork. #
You can also purchase tickets online at the following link : https://app.galabid.com/cardraw2020
First prize will be a brand- new Ford Focus ST Line, donated by CAB motor company. In addition to this there will also be six other cash prizes.
The final date for entries will be 12 noon on January 7th with the draw taking place that evening and the winners announced.