People in Dundalk and the rest of the county have been urged to support for St Vincent de Paul as donations to the charity continue to drop.
Donations to its annual appeal were down on average between 20 and 25 per cent compared with last year and the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has made a renewed plea to the Irish public for support.
Donations to the SVP can be made locally or online at www.svp.ie
What is given locally stays local, says the Society.
The society acknowledges that the current controversy surrounding charitable donations has probably had an effect, but SVP also appreciated that there were other pressures on donors this year of reduced personal incomes and their own family needs.
SVP fully supports regulation of charities and has full transparency in its annual published accounts which are available to the public.
Area President Liam Reilly has said SVP has 11,000 volunteer members in parish-based units.
The local conferences of the Society are dealing with a considerable increase in demand for help.
Calls for assistance to the SVP have more than doubled in the past five years,
Additional resources to deal with this increase have been required and through the generousity of the Irish public the direct assistance we have been able to provide to those in need has increased from €24m in 2007 to €43m last year.
Mr Reilly said the SVP will continue to give assistance to those in need and will respond to requests for help.
The society members were facing a wider range of more complex social issues, deprivation and poverty caused by the recession.
“As always, this Society will respond and give help and we hope the public will be as generous to us as they can be,” Mr Reilly said.
Meanwhile, there are worrying indications that inter-generational poverty may be occurring as a result of the impact of austerity on families, according to the National Vice-President of the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
Tom MacSweeney said the Society was in the unique position of visiting families, by invitation, in their homes and therefore had an accurate picture of how continued austerity was affecting them.
It was of concern that families which had improved their situation were finding that they were being pushed back into difficulties. While Government statements that the economy was improving and that tax cuts might be given to workers were very welcome, this year would be a time when families would have their incomes cut again by the full impact of the property tax, with water charges to follow. In addition changes in some social welfare and health rates and qualification conditions would undoubtedly impact upon many families.
For information on contacting local offices, donations by cheque or through online banking call the SVP National Office on 01 8386990.