THE festive period may be coming to an end, but one Tralee man is only getting started on his plan for Christmas Day dinner this year.
Thomas O’Driscoll, a social worker from Spa Road, has come up with an idea for a multicultural, socially-inclusive Christmas dinner, available to all, but with a special emphasis given to those who may be alone or isolated on the day.
Thomas, a graduate of Youth and Commuity Studies at IT Tralee, came up with the idea on Christmas Eve when he was at home with his daughter.
“Around seven years ago, I lived in supported accommodation where I was provided with a meal around Christmas time and I found it to be a really, really lonely time. I was sitting with my daughter this Christmas Eve and I was thinking about all the people who are alone or who can’t cook for their children on Christmas Day.”
“I wrote a post on facebook and got phenomenal feedback – I got about 100 messages to my own page asking how they could help out and to keep them updated, so I set-up a Facebook page.”
Thomas is especially appealing to adults living in Direct Provision to get involved in the committee stage in September. While people living in these centres are provided with a Christmas Day dinner, Thomas feels they may want to cook for themselves and their children on the day.
“Hopefully it can be as multi-cultural as possible, even in the food. People seeking asylum come from many different cultures and will have different traditional meals and it’s about embracing that,” said Thomas.
Thomas is looking to work with the business community, Tralee Chamber Alliance and Kerry Council in relation to the project.
There is no confirmed venue for the dinner as yet, but Thomas is trying to get a committee from all sectors of society together to make it a success and an annual event.
He is talking to a few local musicians about providing their services for a short period each on the day as well as looking for donations from the business community to provide small Christmas presents to those availing of the service on the day.
To find out more about the event and for updates, please check out the ‘Christmas Dinner Tralee’ Facebook page by clicking here where you can make contact with Thomas about getting involved in this very important event.