Up to 2,000 families across Donegal wil lrely on assistance from St. Vincent de Paul this month.
Up to 2,000 families across Donegal will rely on assistance from St. Vincent de Paul this month, it has emerged.
The charity's regional president for the north-west, Rosa Glackin, said the number of people needing help in this county remains as high as it did during the peak of the recession.
And with Christmas now just over a week away, she is warning those who may be cash-strapped not to be tempted to use money-lenders.
Instead, she urged people to consider turning to their local credit union.
Ms. Glackin, who oversees the organisation in Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, said: “We would beg people not to go to money lenders.
“The interest rates are so high. It's all very well borrowing now but when January comes people will find themselves in financial difficulty trying to pay the money back. Other areas will definitely suffer as a consequence.”
She said the organisation was very busy during the recent cold spate and said she envisages that the demand for coal and fuel will continue into January.
“There was a big demand for coal recently and it is not at an end yet. We are seeing no drop in demand and it will continue well into January,” she said.
Ms. Glackin said some families are currently suffering financially because a family member is having to travel to Dublin or Galway for treatment.
“A lot of our members are helping people who find themselves under financial duress due to someone in the family being ill and having to travel.
“We are very sympathetic to them. It's hard enough to deal with the illness without having to deal with financial difficulty too,” she said.
The regional president thanked all those who have given and who are giving so generously to the charitable organisation now and throughout the year.
“We would like to thank the public for their generosity, people are as generous as ever.
“Businesses and schools are extremely generous. People are also supporting our shops,” she said.