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06 Dec 2021

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Laois Jack & Jill’s charity shop in Portlaoise

Public urged to shop at Jack & Jill to help the 11 children cared for by the charity in Laois

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Laois Jack & Jill’s charity shop in Portlaoise

Julie Mooney, manager with Sara Oliveira, Fiona Byrne, and Lauren Galbraith, volunteers at the Jack & Jill charity boutique in Portlaoise

Bells may be ringing, but it’s hoped that tills will most definitely be singing at Jack & Jill’s charity boutique in Portlaoise this Christmas.

The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation is calling on the public to support local and buy local this Christmas as staff work day and night decking the aisles with lots of treasures, trinkets and stocking fillers to behold.

It’s the most important time of the year for Jack & Jill with Christmas sales a key component of its annual fundraising activity, with money raised locally going to support the 11 children with highly complex medical conditions cared for by Jack & Jill in Laois.

So, what are the must-have items that keep loyal customers coming back to the Jack & Jill charity boutique?

For Julie Mooney, manager of the Jack & Jill charity boutique in at the Kea Lew Business Park in Portlaoise, it can vary from a vintage dress for that special occasion to a designer candle for that special ambience!

“At Jack & Jill, customers know that we are all about quality and value. There’s so much choice! From bargain dresses and matching handbags, to sacks of LEGO and a limited number of signature scented candles specially designed for Jack & Jill by Paul & William Costelloe. Many of the items in store are leading brands donated by generous retailers on the high street, while many of our pre-owned clothes have never been worn and still have their shop labels on! At a time when we are all thinking of how we can help save our planet, it’s good to know that making a purchase at Jack & Jill is the perfect sustainability choice.

“For the man or woman who has everything, we also have Gift of Time cards. Each donation of €18 funds one hour of home nursing care, giving parents time to do the normal things like Christmas shopping, catching up with a friend, enjoying a walk with the other siblings, or simply having a nap to recharge – safe in the knowledge that their sick child is well cared for at home. There’s always a Christmas gift for everyone at Jack & Jill.

“Of course, we know that for many there is even greater joy in giving rather than receiving. And, so, we are always delighted to accept donations of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, handbags, shoes, accessories, books, ornaments and, of course, every child’s favourite, LEGO,” she said.

Jack & Jill’s mission is to empower parents to care for their child at home, because there is no care like home care for a Jack & Jill child, especially at Christmas time. Set up by parents for parents nearly 25 years ago, Jack & Jill provides in-home nursing care and respite for children up to the age of six with severe to profound neurodevelopmental delay, including children with brain injury, genetic diagnosis, cerebral palsy and undiagnosed conditions. Another key part of Jack & Jill’s service is end-of-life care for children under the age of six, regardless of the diagnosis.   

 Pictured: Sara Oliveira, Fiona Byrne, and Lauren Galbraith, volunteers

For Carmel Doyle, CEO of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation, 2021 has been another difficult year:

“This has been another very challenging year for our families, our nurses, our volunteers, our shop managers and our fundraisers at Jack & Jill. We have more families than ever, relying on us for support, with 11 children under our care in Laois. With another €500,000 to raise in one last fundraising push to the end of the year, we are relying on the public for their continued support. Every purchase and every donation translates into home nursing care hours and a real gift of time for local children and their families.” 

Jack & Jill has also recently launched its Home for Christmas collection and its online shop has a range of items on sale, including limited edition signed prints from its much-loved Incognito art sale, to enchanting Christmas cards and deluxe wrapping paper. To view the collection, or to make a donation, visit www.jackandjill.ie

The Portlaoise shop, which is located in the Kea Lew Business & Retail Park, Mountrath Road, Kylekiproe in Portlaoise, is open from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm.

The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation is an Irish children’s charity that funds and delivers specialist home nursing and end-of-life care for children from birth to six years of age who have highly complex and life-limiting medical conditions. Its mission is to empower parents to care for their child at home, because there is no care like home care for a Jack & Jill child.

Jack & Jill mobilises a crew of community nurses and carers, operates seven days a week, and has no waiting list. Over 2,600 families have been supported by the Foundation since it was established in 1997.

Last year it funded and supported over 94,000 home nursing hours to the children under its wing, in addition to 25,000 hours of hands-on case management from its specialist children’s liaison nurses. To do this, the Foundation must raise over €4 million to fund its unique service each year. Jack & Jill funds and provides up to 80 hours per month of home nursing care for families, costing €1,440 per month.

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