The Black Santa Christmas appeal, held outside St Ann's Church on Dublin's Dawson St raised a record €45,000 despite pandemic restrictions. This will be distributed across city charities.
The 21st annual Church of Ireland 'Black Santa Sit Out' at St Ann's Church, it got off to a strong start when energy company Energia donated €10,000 as part of their charitable donations in lieu of Christmas events for staff which had to be cancelled. The company also donated €10,000 to the Black Santa Appeal in Belfast.
The appeal was launched outside St Ann's Church on December 21st by pupils from Alexandra College Dublin as well as Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Rev Terry Lilburn, and 'Black Santa' Fred Deane, caretaker at St Ann's. The 'Black Santa' title is derived from the heavy dark clerical cloaks worn to keep out the cold in the run up to Christmas.
"This has been our best year ever. With the continuing effects of the pandemic, we had not set our hopes very high," said Arthur Vincent of St Ann's parish. "There are people who give to Black Santa every year because they know every cent goes to the charities. This amount speaks very highly of people's generosity," he said.
Funds raised will be distributed to charities at a special service at St Ann's on Sunday February 13th next. Beneficiaries will include the Simon Community, the Peter McVerry Trust, and the Salvation Army, all of which work with homeless people, as well as Protestant Aid, Barnardo's, St Vincent De Paul, the Laura Lynn Foundation and the Solas Project.