SOME people’s generosity knows no bounds and that’s especially true when it comes to Christmas, the time for giving.
Members of Carlow Lions Club and St Vincent de Paul were blown away by the sheer altruism of those who donated to their Christmas food appeal, which took place on the two weekends before the big day itself. Volunteers collected an estimated €25,000 worth of food and cash at the major supermarkets in Carlow town, enough to feed almost 600 families over the festive period.
“We are, as always, hugely impressed by the generosity of some people. For example, the lady who anonymously gave us a donation of €1,000 or the gentleman who presented us with a stacked trolley of food, which was worth well over €250,” said John O’Donovan from Carlow Lions Club.
“But what about the seven young lads who pooled their resources and filled a trolley with food and goodies! Young lads today generally have a bad name, so when seven of them pushing a food-laden trolley walk up to you and say this is for the food appeal, you naturally ask ‘the whole lot?’ The reply was, ‘yes, the whole lot’. You look at the trolley and then you look at them and you realise that with youths like these, there is a big future for the young lads of Ireland.”
Members of the Peace and Justice Committee from St Mary’s Academy CBS helped with collecting the food, while students from all of the secondary schools in Carlow town volunteered with packing all the goodies into hampers.
“This is the most tedious part of the operation, in that every hamper has to have an equal share and has to be packed properly to maximise the available space. This operation is supervised by the Lions and SVP, but the work is carried out by students from St Mary’s Academy, St Leo’s, Tyndall College, Presentation College and Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach,” said John.
After that, the hampers were distributed to 580 homes across Co Carlow and are worth about €25,000. It’s also estimated that it takes 1,200 hours of manual work in collecting, packing and distributing the food.
“Let’s hope that the hampers bring a little joy into the lives of those most in need at Christmas. It’s astonishing that we need so many hampers, despite the prosperity and affluence of our society in Ireland,” concluded John.
“Sincere thanks goes to all who volunteered to make this possible and especially to the students of the various schools, whose help is invaluable. Let’s hope that they will remember this for the rest of their lives, and to the people of Carlow for their generosity.”