Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. Is there anything better than opening presents, eating a lovely big turkey dinner and then falling asleep on the couch in front of a roaring fire?
But as some of us wake up to a bundle of gifts, others wake up to an empty sitting room. When we rip open our expensive new possessions, we should think of the other families who can barely afford to put food on the table, never mind spoil their children with the latest gadgets and toys.
While we tuck into our juicy turkey and ham, there are children in third world countries who haven’t eaten for days.
And as we sit down in front of that fire and throw a blanket over our legs, there are people just outside our homes who only have a damp cardboard box and an old sleeping bag for comfort on the rough streets.
Charity is important all year round however, at Christmas, we should lend a hand to the less fortunate and appreciate how lucky we are.
If you would like to help out this Christmas, here are a few ways you can:
To help a family make Christmas a little bit happier, you can make a financial donation at www.svp.ie. You can also send a virtual gift which ranges from a teddy bear for €5 to a Christmas dinner for €150, and everything from a bike to a Christmas tree in between.
To help feed a starving child this Christmas, you can run a ‘Goal Mile’ which are held country-wide every Christmas morning. You can find your local mile at www.goalglobal.org. Goal works in some of the poorest countries in the word such as Kenya, Honduras and Uganda.
Alternatively, you can send the gift of a cow or trees along with many other options to a suffering community through www.bothar.ie.
If you would like to help out with the growing homelessness crisis in Ireland, you can make a single or monthly donation to www.focusireland.ie or take part in one of their many fundraising events held across Ireland.
It is also important to remember that although many have crossed the border, there are still thousands of refugees in need of assistance and now is not the time to forget about them. Donations can be made at www.redcross.ie.
Please give generously this Christmas.
Clíona Nic Dhomhnaill
Image credit: Kirsten Campbell