28 Nov 2021

WATCH Scoil Chríost Rí students in Portlaoise shows 'kindness' to homeless kids with 2,000 books


Jill Cushen, Katie Walsh and Tara Fahey with some of the books going to homeless children collected by Scoil Chríost Rí in Portlaoise

The "kindness committee" at Scoil Chríost Rí in Portlaoise features in an RTÉ report after organising a collection which will see hundreds of books to children living in emergency accommodation this Christmas.

Jill Cushen, Katie Walsh and Tara Fahey outlined how the committee came into existence and explained how the idea for the book collection came about and was achieved.

"At the beginning of the year we set up the Coiste Cinneálta or the Kindness Committee throughout the school just to spread some kindness throughout the school," says Jill.

So why help those in emergency accommodation.

"Homelessness is a very prevalent issue in society today," said Tara. "So, we wanted to make a difference and helping the lives of others," she said.

Katie says she and other Leaving Cert students have received a lot of support.

"We can become overwhelmed with how stressful Leaving Cert is but at the same time, we are pretty privileged with the support that we have been given," she said.

Jill said the girls wanted to give a gift that would also be an opportunity.

"We've had little libraries in our homes throughout our whole lives and we have been able to use those as scope for our imagination and a lot of people have not had the opportunity," said Jill.

They aimed for 600 and almost 2,000 books were collected in the school which will go to the Fr Peter McVerry Trust.

""We underestimated the response in our school and community...The response was just unbelievable," said Jill.

For Tara she said it will give support to the children who received the gifts.

"I hope they feel that there is a sense of love there, that someone does care and that there is someone there showing them that they are not alone," she said.

Katie summed up the initiative.

"A book like kindness never goes out of fashion," said Katie.

Meanwhile, the Kindness Committee were not the only ones to get active helping the homeless. The TY class participating in this year's Challenge to Change project.

They have decided to help the homeless by hosting talks in the school from PATH to spread awareness amongst our school community. The also appeared on Claire Byrne Live last week to discuss what they are doing.

The girls have gone around to local businesses to ask them to help donate things to make shoeboxes and are hosting a bake sale this week. A lot of local businesses have opted to get involved and help our students help those in need this Christmas.

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