The St. Vincent de Paul in Donegal has had its busiest Christmas since the onset of the economic downturn coming to the aid of up to 1,000 families and individuals in the county.
The vice president of St. Vincent de Paul in the north west, Rosa Glackin, said the organisation was extremely busy throughout the county in 2015, adding that this Christmas has been the busiest since 2008.
The organisation gave out over €100,000 in fuel and food vouchers to those who were most in need during the festive period.
“This Christmas was extremely busy. The demand increased in Donegal and across the country but we don’t know why. We were very, very busy. There was a lot of demand. The demand was highest since the recession began in 2008,” Ms Glackin said.
Around six hundred people volunteer with the organisation in Donegal. Ms. Glackin said that during Christmas the organisation would have helped many families who were in need due to sickness or emergency situations.
“There were a lot of problems, a lot of sickness and problems in homes. Many emergencies tend to happen during Christmas,” she said.
She thanked all those who donated to the charity throughout the year and during the festive period. “There were a lot of donations, from businesses, schools, families and individuals. We would really like to thank everyone that donated and thank them for their generosity. Without these donations, it could have been a difficult time for people. We would also like to thank all the volunteers who give their time generously all year around and at Christmas,” she said.
The demand was mostly for food, fuel and presents for the younger members of families. “People just needed the basics. They needed fuel, food and toys,” she said.
“The entire country experienced a rise in demand. It was not just in Donegal. We greatly appreciate all help.”
The official St. Vincent de Paul website ran an appeal ahead of Christmas urging people to help them ahead of the festive period.
It read: “We are experiencing an unprecedented level of calls for help in the run up to Christmas. We urgently need your support.”