St Vincent de Paul will help 50,000 people this Christmas

Ryan Tubridy launched the charity's Christmas appeal this afternoon

St Vincent de Paul will help 50,000 people this Christmas

Image: Fennell Photography Ltd

More than 50,000 people are expected to reach out to St Vincent de Paul ahead of the holiday season as families struggle to pay for Christmas.

The charity’s annual Christmas appeal was launched by RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy this afternoon.

St Vincent de Paul (SVP) national vice-president, Kieran Stafford said the level of assistance the charity can provide to those most in need “will depend on the generosity of the Irish people.”

 “While our immediate concern is to help families avoid an empty Christmas,” he said, “our longer term focus is on helping families to break the cycle of poverty.”

“Support from the Society is primarily given to help people through particularly difficult times, but we also work with families to avoid the same difficulties recurring through generations.”

The charity is calling on the public to “say yes” and help those in need with this year’s appeal themed, “Your yes can last a lifetime.”

A series of advertisements highlighting the message will be published throughout the appeal with real-life stories forming the basis of the outreach.

The stories all highlight how quickly a difficult situation can turn into a crisis - with most of the people who contact the charity, “struggling week in and week out on a basic minimum income.”

“It is when they encounter an unexpected cost or a period that requires higher spending, such as Christmas that they critically need SVP,” said Mr Stafford.

The charity spends almost €35m a year on direct assistance including food, energy, education - and toys for Christmas.

Donations can be made either locally or online with a number of other options available at www.svp.ie/appeal

Nichola Mullen, Head of SVP Fundraising said you can also support by purchasing a copy of the RTÉ album As Seen On The Late Late Show with all proceeds going to the charity.