08 Dec 2021

Laois gran who knits and makes Christmas gifts for hundreds of kids

Laois gran who knits and makes Christmas gifts for hundreds of kids

Dolores Lawlor from Mountmellick in Laois.

Laois grandmother Dolores Lawlor barely lets an evening go by without picking up her knitting needles, to make gifts for new babies.

Recently Dolores from Mountmellick dropped off another 40 beautiful little cardigans and 80 hats to the delighted staff at the maternity unit in Portlaoise hospital.

With her friend Geraldine Connors, they give about 200 a year to the unit.

“It keeps me occupied between filling other orders. I make them in every colour under the sun. I like doing it, it's nice to give something back to society,” she said.

She buys the wool herself.

“You can get a ball of wool for €2 now and that makes two cardigans,” Dolores said.

Below: some of her handknit gifts for newborn babies

Dolores' altruism does not stop there. She also fills over 300 Christmas shoebox gifts a year for the Hope Foundation, for poor children around the world, again digging into her own pocket much of the time.

“The boxes are in every corner of the house, people are great they give me empty shoeboxes, and money and gifts. I start as soon as one year is finished. I have 255 ready now, all wrapped in Christmas paper. I just feel every child should have something at Christmas. I love to see the photos of happy children, that's the glory of it, to do something for somebody,” she said.

Below: some of the hundreds of shoeboxes filled and waiting in the Lawlor household.

She and husband Michael have three children and six grandchildren, all proud of her efforts.

“She always said that all a child needs is to be warm, full and know they are loved. The best advice she ever gave us is that no matter who you meet they will have the same thing in common, they are someone's child, someone gazed at that person and thought they were the most precious thing in the world, so to always treat everyone as so.
"Her time revolves around other people, she adores her grandkids and if she's not with them she's talking about them. She sorts all of their outgrown clothes and gives them to people in need, and never utters a word about it. She never looks for acknowledgement or praise. She never looks for praise, we are incredibly lucky to have her as our ma,” said her proud daughter Helen.

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