A special Christmas Luas has pulled up at Connolly Station in Dublin as part of a campaign to collect thousands of presents for homeless children.
Transdev is once again partnering up with Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) for the annual Fill A Luas campaign.
Homelessness has tripled in Ireland since the campaign was launched in 2014.
With nearly 4,000 children facing homelessness this Christmas, ICHH chief executive Anthony Flynn is encouraging people to drop by and donate.
“What we want to do is show those children some empathy and compassion and get the spirit of Christmas back into their lives,” he said.
“The public have been very generous in regard to donations here from very early this morning with presents dropped off that will be re-distributed to those children and their families.”
— ICHHDUBLIN (@ICHHDUBLIN) December 6, 2018
Volunteers are offering breakfast, lunch and dinner for the homeless at today’s even – along with free haircuts, santa’s grotto, giggles the clown, buskers, snacks and other surprises.
Mr Flynn said they are hoping to break their previous records and take in over 25,000 boxes this year.
ðŸŽAnd we're off! Our special tram is making its way to Connolly Luas stop right now where we will be collecting shoeboxes filled with goodies for homeless families from 7am - 7pm today. Let's keep the generosity going and help us break our record of 20,000 shoeboxes! #fillaluas pic.twitter.com/bBH2DLiWkZ
— Luas (@Luas) December 6, 2018
“This year’s event is a bit special with a focus on families in emergency accommodation with the addition of Santa’s Grotto,” said Mr Flynn.
“Today is a day where the public, our volunteers and our charity partners come together with the people we support on a daily basis to bring a smile to people’s faces.
“We want it to be a special day for the most vulnerable in society where they can come to Connolly for food and a haircut and to be treated for a change with Christmas around the corner.”
The event runs until 7pm this evening and member s of the public are encouraged to come down and get involved.