It's the most wonderful time of the year... but not for everybody.
Although Christmas can be a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your family, stuff your face and share gifts, for others, Christmas represents one of the most difficult times of the year.
Now is the time to give back to those that really need your help. It's what the Christmas spirit is all about really, isn't it?
Here are some of the charities that really need that help. If one that you would like to help isn't listed, you can always make donations or volunteer. Charities are always under pressure at this time of the year.
Charities who help the Homeless
Focus Ireland help the homeless across the country by offering support, education and temporary accommodation. They also help those who are at risk of losing their homes. There are various ways you can help the charity, but mainly through volunteering and donations. You can find out more here.
The Simon Community
The Simon Community operates across the entire country helping the homeless. They have centres in most of the main cities and help homeless people and those who are trying to rebuild their lives after homelessness. You can find more info here.
Here is there Darkest Hour campaign.
There are various other charities depending on the region you live in that all need help. You can check with your local charity what they may need for the festive season.
Charities who help Children
The Irish Centre for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is one of the oldest charities in Ireland. The centre provides support through their Childline service and volunteers who help children who are suffering from abuse, anxiety, stress, grief and risk of drug and alcohol abuse. The charity depends entirely on donations. If you would like to help, please visit their site.
Barnardos work with vulnerable children and their families, they focus on children whose well-being may be affected in some way. Barnardos have centres around the country and also offer support for various causes. You can find more info on the charity here.
Here is their Change a Life, Foster a Child programme.
Charities who help Animals
The DSPCA mainly operate out of Dublin and care for animals that have suffered cruelty or abuse. Their shelters are operated by volunteers and staff who go above and beyond for the animals they look after. You can actually visit Santa at the DSPCA too and play with all the furry ones! The DSPCA need your help. Head over to their website to check out the various ways you can help.
Here's a video giving you an idea of their work.
Like the DSPCA, the ISPCA are the foremost charity for animals in Ireland. They deal with cases of cruelty and abuse and constantly lobby for better laws around animal welfare. You can find out more about their work and donate here.
The Dog's Trust is Ireland's charity for looking after just dogs. Dog's Trust look after education around dogs and also re-homing for dogs. They also advise the government on matters of pet ownership. You can check out their site here.
Macra Na Feirme
Macra are a charitable and youth organisation who organise clubs around the country with events, sports, travel, drama, festivals and much more. Although not necessarily in the same vein as the other charities, Macra does exceptional work, particularly in rural areas, to bring a sense of community. You can find more info here.
Friends of the Elderly
A charity who basically look after the elderly in our society, organise events, friends to call in for a chat, even Christmas dinner! There are some people in Ireland who are terribly isolated. For more info, head over here.
St. Vincent De Paul
The St. Vincent De Paul offer help for almost everything, someone to talk to, money worries, abuse, homelessness, the charity have been helping people in Ireland for years. For more info, head on over to their site.
Charities for the Sick
Jack and Jill Foundation
There is no doubt about it, the Jack and Jill foundation do some astonishing work in Ireland, helping sick children but also helping their parents with their care. They offer support, advice and home care in other cases.
Crumlin's Children Hospital
The Children's Hospital in Crumlin provide medical care for very ill children but they also depend on donations for this to happen. Head over to their site to see how you can help out with this or fundraising.
The Lauralynn foundation helps children with life-limiting conditions and provides their families with supports. The charity helps children with these needs from birth up to age 18. You can find out more about their work here.
The Make-A-Wish foundation help grant wishes to children with life-threatening conditions between the ages of 3 and 17. The foundation works all over the world but you can help the Irish branch by heading over to their website here.