President of Portarlington Lions Club Patricia Conroy with colleagues.
Portarlington families and individuals who are struggling financially this Christmas are being offered confidential local help.
Portarlington Lions Club in the Laois Offaly town is taking requests from the public for some assistance.
Boxes are now in place for people to post in private requests, at Portarlington Credit Union and Whelan's Electrical, and will remain until this evening Wednesday December 11.
The club will then assess all the requests with the assistance of Portarlington St Vincent de Paul who also bring their own requests.
The Lions will then deliver envelopes of vouchers to homes in confidence.
Patricia Conroy President of the club said they will no longer be delivering food hampers this year .
“This year for the first time we are going to give no food out. Instead we are giving vouchers for food and fuel,” she said.
The change is so that people can choose the food they wish to buy.
“It gives more dignity to people. We know that it is difficult for people to ask and we don't want to make them feel more unfortunate,” she said.
Last Christmas they helped 100 families and people, the year before 170.
“Maybe people are in a better position,” said Ms Conroy.
“We give as much as we can, based on individual needs. All the money comes out of the community from fundraisers, we try our best. The main thing is it is completely confidential,” she said.