SVP Tralee Hopes For Public Support As They Face Busiest Christmas In Years

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Junior Locke of St Vincent de Paul at the Donation Centre in Monavalley. Photo by Dermot Crean

2020 has been a year for forget for most people. It has brought hardship, poverty, isolation and loneliness, but it has also shown the power of community and nowhere has this been more evident than at St Vincent de Paul.

With just a month to go to Christmas, Manager at the SVP Donations Centre in Tralee, Junior Locke, says their services are set to be tested severely and hopes the public can give what they can to help them provide assistance to the vulnerable this festive season.

Junior said it has been a tough eight months for many people once the lockdown began.

“At the start of the Lockdown in March we didn’t know what to expect, but it was towards the end of April that people’s payments were down and they were starting to find things difficult.

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The Meals on Wheels service jumped from 70 meals on a Saturday to 370 a day from March until the end of the first Lockdown. Ballyseedy Garden Centre and later, the ITT were a huge help with this service during this time.

The numbers have reduced now, but we are still doing 70 meals a day whereas before COVID we were just a weekend service, which is a big cost for the Society,” he said.

But St Vincent de Paul relies heavily on the public for support and many big fundraisers had to be called off this year.

“Our fundraising resources have been decimated since March. Our main source of funding is from our shops which have been closed for much of the time since March, the church gate collection was called off and events like golf classics etc couldn’t take place. Some people ran gofundme fundraisers for us for which we are deeply thankful,” said Junior.

However, there are some initiatives which the public can support over the coming weeks.

“We still have the Radio Kerry Christmas Jumper Appeal, which will be very different this year and Toys Upstairs Toymaster at Kellihers on Rock Street are also running the annual toy appeal, so we would appreciate if people helped out with that,” he said.

But it’s going to be a busy time at the depot in Monavalley and the volunteers there will be working diligently to make sure the vulnerable are protected over the coming months.

“We are gearing up for Christmas and we expect it to be much busier than usual. We can see already that there is double the demand on last year for the Meals On Wheels service. We also work closely also with other agencies like MABS to help people out with budgetary advice,” he said.

People can donate to the website and choose the location they want the funds to go to. If you want to hold a fundraiser for SVP, click on this link and follow the instructions.

They will also have a Freeport ‘blue envelope’ collection going out in the Tralee area soon, where people can donate what they like and then post back the envelope for free.


One Comment

  1. Mary Teresa Griffin says:

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    I also have a large comfy 3seater
    Just no way to drop it into ye