Christmas period sees increase in charity volunteers

By Aaron Quinn

A recent Corporate Volunteer Team at a services provided by The Peter McVerry Trust.

Aaron Quinn looks at the increase in charity volunteer workers at this time of year. 

As the festive season draws closer, charities all over Ireland are preparing themselves for one of the most hectic periods of the year.

The on-going financial crisis has placed an enormous strain on most families and the added pressure of the Christmas period sees more people reach out for help at this time of year.

As a result of the added strain placed on charities there is an increase in volunteer work over the weeks leading up to, and following, Christmas.

The Peter McVerry Trust is a charity which provides support and accommodation for young homeless people in Ireland – it was set up by Fr. Peter McVerry in 1983.

When asked about volunteering at Christmas, Francis Doherty, a fundraising & communications officer working with the Peter McVerry Trust said: “Yes there is an increase. Only yesterday we received three phone calls from people wanting to volunteer their time. At present we have about 70 volunteers on our database, but not all of these will be available to help out at Christmas time.”

Mr Doherty appealed to anyone with some spare time over the festivities to volunteer with the Peter McVerry trust – “During the winter period we would seek volunteers to help out with coin counting, packing Christmas cards, Christmas street collections and our Christmas Carol Concert.”

With eight new cases of homelessness in Dublin per day and over over 2,000 new cases in the first  nine months of 2012, the Trust is desperate for public help – “This year we are also seeking volunteers to help out with Christmas dinner with a temporary accommodation unit on Camden Street. This is the city’s largest temporary accommodation unit with 90 homeless people accommodated each night”, said Francis.

The Peter McVerry Trust will work with over 1,500 people in its services in 2012. Mr Doherty added: “We would hope that a number of volunteers will come forward now to help out here this Christmas.”

Image provided by The Peter McVerry Trust.





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