St. Vincent de Paul in Clonmel is desparate to secure financial donations in the build up to Christmas to ensure up to five hundred families in the area have the basics to survive.
This time last year in Clonmel financial donations were down by as much as 40% and if anything the situation has worsened.
“We are even slightly down on financial donations this year compared to last year which was a real disaster.” says Kieran Stafford, St.Vincent de Paul National Vice President and a member of the Clonmel conference.
Last year they relied for the first time on financial assistance from the national organisation but with the national body also feeling the pinch, there is no guarantee this year that such assistance can be called on.
“In the Clonmel area we really need more financial donations to ensure households do not lose their electricity or gas over the Christmas, to ensure that rents are paid and to ensure that up to fifty students that we are helping in third level stay in college.”said Mr. Stafford.
“We are really going to struggle to meet the needs of families in this area over Christmas. Requests for help in Clonmel have increased by over 100% in the last four years. It is becoming more and more challenging every year” he said.
He praised the generosity of people who supported the Lions Club food appeal in Clonmel last weekend and also to the numerous schools and factories who contact Vincent de Paul in Clonmel after holding their own food drives.
“The response to the food appeal has been better than ever. When we provide food to families at least it frees some money up for them to purchase other essential items at this time of the year, including presents for young children” he said.
Anybody wishing to donate financial donations or food can drop them to Mulcahy House in Anglesea Street in Clonmel .
“We are very appreciative of how generous the people of Clonmel and the catchment area have been all year,every year.People are struggling themselves and they still make a donation” he said.