THE Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) is making its annual appeal for help and support.
The society has 10,500 volunteers who visit 400,000 home each year year.
Calls for help to the Society have almost doubled over recent years and the SVP needs donations urgently to adequately provide the help needed by so many people in severe financial difficulties.
The “Your help is vital” appeal was launched recently and the importance of this appeal can be judged by the fact that the SVP spends almost €40m a year on direct assistance. The bulk of this amount goes to helping families with food, energy and education costs.
The SVP appeal campaign will continue to 9 December, to the SVP Week during which local SVP conferences will hold church gate collections
A new television commercial which will be broadcast in the run-up to Christmas has help and solidarity as its theme.
Regional President Liam Reilly said the demands for the society’s services have risen 100 per cent in the past four years. This in itself places huge demands on already heavily burdened volunteers.
“As volunteers we give up our spare time to alleviate the financial and other problems that people have,” said Liam.
“We are always looking for volunteers to assist in whatever way they can. They could visit people or work in our shops.
“We hope to increase the profile of the organisation and in doing so increase the number of volunteers.
“It’s not always about the money, which of course we need. It’s about informing people about what we do, looking for volunteers, and encouraging those who need our assistance to take the courageous step forward.”
In addition to providing direct assistance for families the SVP also provides many essential services. It manages 970 social housing units, has 344 emergency beds per night available for the homeless, operates 15 day care centres, 150 shops and many breakfast, homework and revision clubs.
Between now and the end of the year SVP volunteers will be visiting homes all over the county. In many many cases it will be to ensure that children have a toy from Santa or that the families have sufficient food, heat and light to get over the ‘festive’ season.
So if think you can help then why not contact Vincent Paul?
SVP Christmas cards are also now available. Please help in any way you can.