herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Unwanted gifts find a new home due to church appeal

Gifts, including a model of Darth Vader, being left at the altar in the Pro-Cathedral
Gifts, including a model of Darth Vader, being left at the altar in the Pro-Cathedral

Unwanted Christmas gifts are being brought to Dublin's Pro-Cathedral so they can be redistributed to young people living in care and to the homeless.

The public have been responding generously to an appeal to bring their surplus presents to the Nativity crib in the city centre church.

"I think it's a fantastic idea at a time when there is so much waste," said Brendan Gildea (27), who travelled from Swords to donate a large model of Star Wars character Darth Vader

His Star Wars-themed party resulted in a surplus of items based on the movies, he said.

"I felt slightly embarrassed walking into the church carrying Darth Vader when many others were carrying bags, but I decided to do it after hearing about the appeal only the night before," said Mr Gildea, who works in a medical recruitment agency in Dublin.

"I was bit obsessed with Star Wars since watching the original trilogy on video when I was 10.

"It's great that items can be donated like this as there are so many things that are not appreciated and thrown out at this time of year.

"It can instil a good example for young people," he said.

Run by the church charity Crosscare, the scheme allows people who would not normally receive a gift to receive one, said Fr Damien O'Reilly, administrator of the Pro-Cathedral. Gifts can be brought to the church until January 6.

Poverty

Crosscare provides a range of social care, community and youth-work services across the Dublin Archdiocese. It plays a role in the provision of services to people affected by poverty in the Dublin area.

The charity has more than 400 staff and 1,000 volunteers, and says that it aims to reach the highest standards in treating the people it assists with the utmost respect, courtesy and love.

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