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Support St. Vincent de Paul this Christmas

OUR country is on the crest of a wave economically but charitable organisations are finding that more and more people are in need of help. Our president, Michael D. Higgins set the ball rolling at the weekend. He said his thoughts are with the homeless and bereaved and he made special mention of those in the direct provision system and those waking up on Christmas morning in shelters, cramped rooms or even out on the bitterly cold streets
St Vincent de Paul volunteers experience the reality on a daily basis. Many people who have reasonable jobs and earning an income are the new poor. The Society had its biggest fund-raising day of the year last weekend and deserve all the help they can get between now and Christmas Day.
Conferences in the north-west have told us that an increasing number of families can no longer afford to send their children to Third Level education without additional subvention.
The challenge of accessing education is described as a "social justice" issue by the charity, which insists more work is required at government level to alleviate the financial pressures placed on struggling families.
According to one Conference further south: "We're hearing from single-parent families, to families where one parent is sick and the loss of income has had a huge impact. There was a case were a mother was sick and the father had passed away and the household went from two incomes to one income and then no income at all.
"That family wasn't expecting this and they would have expected that they could fund their kids' education so it was difficult for them to come to the society.”
We urge people throughout the North-west to donate and give whatever help they can to their local Conference. Funds raised go directly to helping families in the local community - including helping children get from secondary school to third-level education.
The following are the contact details for some branches: Sligo – Ozanam House, 45 Upper John Street, 071-9160713, and Stephen Mews, Stephen Street, Sligo; 071-9142420. Ballina: Ozanam House, Teeling Street, Ballina; 096-72905. Castlebar: Pavilion Road, Gorteendrunagh, Castlebar; 094-9023207.