The Redemptorists launched their Annual Christmas Hamper Appeal in St. Clement’s College on Thursday morning (28 November 2019). Speaking at the launch, Fr Seamus Enright commented on how things are getting worse for some people. In a city of plenty, children go to school hungry every morning and, as Christmas approaches, some older people will have to decide between whether to have something to eat or lighting a fire.
Novas worked with more families last year than ever before. They worked with 274 families and 592 children who were homeless or at the risk of homelessness. Mid-West Simon reports a significant weekly increase in the numbers attending their food bank, with a noteworthy increase in the number of families looking for help.
Niall O’Sullivan, proprietor of O’Sullivan’s Pharmacies, said that he was honoured to be associated with the Redemptorist Christmas Hamper Appeal and to officially launch this year’s appeal. It is important that the business community supports ventures like this, Mr O’Sullivan said. "People will be able to donate to the Christmas Hamper Appeal at any branch of O’Sullivan’s Pharmacy".
Pat Talty, Principal of St. Clement's, remarked that St. Clement’s College has been supporting the Christmas Hamper Appeal since it was launched in 1972. Students bring donations of food to school, which are placed in the crib at the Redemptorist Church. Transition Year students help pack hampers. An important aspect of Catholic education is helping students develop a social conscience.
In 2018, the Redemptorists and their partners distributed 6,000 hampers across the city and county as well as into neighbouring parts of Clare and Tipperary. They worked with 39 conferences of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and 31 other organisations. The Redemptorist's need to raise at least €200,000 between now and Christmas, to fund this year’s Christmas Hampers.