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Acts of charity: how you can help people this Christmas

Debra Ireland, Barnardos Gifts for Good, Focus Ireland and the SVP need your aid

Despite Covid-19, let’s not forget the gift of giving this Christmas.

Despite Covid-19, let’s not forget the gift of giving this Christmas.


Four charities let us know what both businesses and individuals can do to ensure the gift of giving is maintained this Christmas.

Debra Ireland

Debra Ireland is the only Irish charity supporting families living with epidermolysis bullosa or EB. EB is a severe, rare, skin-blistering condition that leaves the skin as fragile as the wings of a butterfly. Even gentle contact can cause devastating wounds.

As a charity that was especially supported by physical fundraising events, its income was impacted heavily through the pandemic. This Christmas, a little boy named Liam, who sadly lost his battle with EB, is guiding the fundraising innovation, through an integrative Christmas appeal. A postal mailing to all EB supporters will be integrated across digital channels to share his story, honour his memory and raise critical funds.

For more, see debraireland.org


Barnardos Gifts for Good is an alternative present range and for each Gift for Good bought, Barnardos will send an individual card and envelope in which a personal message can be written to give to a loved one or colleague.

By purchasing a Gift for Good, both giver and receiver will directly benefit a child or family that Barnardos works with. They are based on the most used items by Barnardos families and offer practical support both now and into the future, while also restoring hope to the vulnerable children Barnardos work with. Gifts range from cosy PJs and slippers to warm waterproof coats and hats. Gifts range in price from €18 to €65 and they also have a Christmas care bundle – a special offer of five Gifts for Good for €100.

Each present purchased will help enhance Barnardos’ essential services, provided in 40 communities around Ireland and the work that they do with more than 21,000 children and families.

For more, see barnardos.ie

Focus Ireland

Christmas is going to be a challenging time for everyone this year with Covid still a very real threat for people. But for those experiencing homelessness – or at risk of homelessness – this threat is even more real. Focus Ireland works with helping to prevent people from losing their home and to provide long-term, sustainable solutions to the problem of homelessness.

Each year, Focus Ireland places a Christmas tree at the top of Grafton Street and it asks companies to sponsor a star on the tree and also includes the company logo to show that they support Focus Ireland’s work. It is a favourite for many SMEs and bigger companies and is now in its 19th year. The charity is also asking schools, community groups, sports teams, colleagues and friends across the globe to virtually host a Christmas jumper day. Each group can get together over Zoom while wearing their festive knits and take time to connect and catch up. Everyone taking part is asked to fundraise and to donate. It is a nice way to ensure family and friends connect with others at Christmas and also give back to those who are in a very vulnerable position this Christmas.

For more, see focusireland.ie


The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) will hold its annual appeal, but with a difference this year as it requires the help of the public more than ever. As home visitations are not happening, the ability of the society to deliver food hampers or toys from Santa is limited. So in addition to financial donations, SVP is appealing for vouchers which can be exchanged for food and gifts of all kinds including toys, book, music and clothing.

Supporting the SVP annual appeal, Ryan Tubridy says, “It’s not easy for everyone to donate, but if you can, every cent is appreciated. All of the funds raised will take an enormous amount of pain from the shoulders of so many.”

For more, see svp.ie