SVP’s annual food 
appeal gets underway

Retiring:  Mary Cullen (2nd from left) who retired recently as Manager of the St. Vincent de Paul shop, Dublin Rd. Portlaoise, l/r Annette Kelly, Mary, Eileen Maher, Billy Fitzpatrick, Mary Gilsenan and Phil Miller who has taken over from Mary. Photo: Tim Keane.
The local branch of St Vincent De Paul have launched their annual food appeal which will be redistributed in Hampers for Christmas.

The local branch of St Vincent De Paul have launched their annual food appeal which will be redistributed in Hampers for Christmas.

Anyone who wishes to donate non-perishable foods and toiletries can leave them into the Parish Centre. Donations will also be accepted on Thursday night, December 4 when a thanksgiving service and blessing of food donations will be held in the Parish Church.

This food is used to fill hampers for families in need this Christmas.

The loca Saint Vincent de Paul charity shop has recently relocated to 97 Main Street, while renovations take place in their Dublin Road premises.

“Our shop was very dated, so we are extending it and making it more modern,” Chairperson Billy Fitzpatrick explained.

“We will only be on Main Street until March, when our new shop should be ready.”

Mr Fitzpatrick continued: “We get in some fantastic donations from people and we need to display them better. Also since the downturn there are more people coming into to the shop and we need space to be able to meet with these people in private so our plans include an office space.”

The renovations are being funded through donations, fundraising and money from the Saint Vincent de Paul head office.

“The money is quiet tight, but we are using local builders and they did a deal with us.

“We are funding the build through funding raised from bag-packing and donations from the people and from head office,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

Presently, six people work between the clothes shop and the furniture store.

But overall the organisation has 20 volunteers locally.

At the minute their main source of funding is the church gate collection, which is held over two weeks.

“The Church gate collection very important to us as our main source of funding. The Church always make sure we have two weeks” Billy said.