People urged to bring unwanted Christmas gifts to Pro-Cathedral
St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral issues appeal for presents it can give to those in need
Canon Damian O’Reilly looks through some of the unwanted Christmas gifts left at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, in 2016. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin is appealing to the public for their unwanted Christmas presents.
Staff at the Pro-Cathedral in the north inner city are asking people not to return or store unwanted gifts, but to bring them instead to the church at Marlborough Place.
Crosscare, the social care agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, will then redistribute the gifts throughout next year to people using its homelessness services and family hubs.
Hundreds of people without families or friends to spend Christmas with received gifts from Crosscare on Tuesday which were donated this time last year.
Michael McDonagh, senior manager with Crosscare, said: “This simple idea has grown over the years and it is such a pleasure for our staff to be able to bring that small bit of extra cheer to people in our services who struggle at this time of the year.”
Crosscare’s services include emergency accommodation and short-term housing with support services to help people make the transition to finding and keeping their own home. The organisation said demand for its services continued to increase throughout 2018.
Mr McDonagh said 60 tonnes of non-perishable food had also been collected for distribution to families in need at Christmas.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin launched an appeal on the first weekend in December for non-perishable food, and as a result, Crosscare was able to distribute hampers made up of 24,000 meals to those in need.
Unwanted presents can be brought to the crib in the Pro-Cathedral until January 6th.