While Christmas can fill us with fuzzy feelings and plans to binge on chocolate and heartwarming movies like Love Actually and Little Women, for some people this season of cheer can be a very difficult time. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one. Maybe you have a delicate family situation which makes forced joy a bit of a headache.
Maybe you’re homeless.
The homelessness crisis in Ireland has been brewing for years now, with the government all but ignoring it. Sure, they’ll release a statement when a man dies near their doorstep, but policies that will save lives and livelihoods don’t seem to be on the agenda of the people we elected to represent our citizenry. Focus Ireland, a charity which works with homeless people in this country, says that 72 families with children presented to homeless services in Dublin in October. The Dublin Region Homeless Executive has data from one week in October which shows 1,425 children in 677 families in emergency accommodation in Dublin. This has doubled from last year’s figures.
It’s a heartbreaking situation and if you want to make a donation that will help someone, check out Focus Ireland’s website.
Meanwhile, one good news story that is restoring our faith in what humanity is capable of is that of New York based philanthropist Carol Suchman. NY1 News reports Suchman recently purchased an entire toy store’s stock to gift to homeless children. Suchman has donated toys before but felt a bigger gesture was required this year. She passed by a recently shut-down toy store in her neighborhood and saw that was still full of toys inside. She decided to contact the owner to buy all the toys, which she gave to NYC’s Department of Homeless Services. The toys are now making their way to children in shelters. Explaining why she made the beautiful gesture, Suchman said, “I know everyone can use a gift around the holidays.”