She was woken up by frenzied banging at the front door to her bungalow. Half asleep the elderly lady swung around in the bed, instinctively grabbing her cane by the bed as she put her feet to the floor in search of her slippers.
Instead she found over foot and a half of water.
My aunt was evacuated from her Ballinasloe house, later to be submerged under four and a half feet of water, by boat with only her cane, glasses, nightie, dressing gown and an overcoat grabbed from the hook near the door by one of her boat bound rescuers.
Thankfully she isn’t exactly homeless as her daughter lives on higher ground near-by, but most of her possessions are gone.
Yes folks, this is about the floods.
Today FM and The Ray Foley Show have launched an appeal to the public to give what they can or in the case that you can’t give, do what you can to help these families.
It doesn’t have to be money, we’re all strapped these days, the SVP are calling for practical contributions. Lets face it, some people are going to splurge on new clothes and shoes on the run up and the aftermath of Christmas. Well take this chance to go through your wardrobe and donate anything that doesn’t fit, suit you or you haven’t worn for over two years without a very good reason. (Yes, a Munster shirt signed by the entire team does count as a good reason Ant).
If you have time to give or a skill that could be useful in the aftermath for example builders, carpenters, van/truck drivers if there was a list it would go on, then there’s a website Offers of Help and everything is appreciated.
There are also a bunch of fundraiser activities taking place around the country. Tonight (December 7) in Cork’s Silversprings Conference Centre is the Raising Cork Quiz is in aid of the Cork Flood Victims – with all proceeds going to the SVP Cork Flood Victims Fund. It starts at 8pm with George Hook offering his services as quizmaster. A table of four costs €80.
If you can’t attend (I’ve heard that registration may be full) then you can make donations directly to
St. Vincent de Paul Cork Flood Victims Fund.
AIB 66 South Mall Sort Code:936383 Account No:47092772
Alternatively, contributions to the SVP Annual Appeal, that includes the Irish Flood victims, can be made by calling 01 8386990 or one of the Regional Offices. Or log on to www.svp.ie and click on “Donate Now” or send a cheque to PO Box 1234 Dublin 1.
Many organisations are providing support for the SVP on a national level including a range of newspapers and radio programmes. Arnotts has selected the SVP as one of six charities to be supported by a €20 charity voucher to given to customers with every purchase over €100 on a key shopping day, 8th December. This voucher can then be used to donate to a charity of their choice.
Byrne’s World of Wonder toy stores, the pregnancy and parenting resource website Eumom.ie, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland and ESB Customer Supply are also heavily involved in the fund-raising campaign.
Another major initiative is the SVP Giving Tree campaign which is a big success in companies, homes and stores throughout the country. The Giving Tree campaign asks people to buy a gift for someone who may not get one otherwise this Christmas, to be distributed by SVP volunteers. Giving Trees will be positioned in all cinemas showing ‘A Christmas Carol’ throughout Ireland. National Irish Bank staff across the country are taking up the Giving Tree and buying gifts for those who need it most. SVP is National Irish Bank’s Charity Partner in 2009.
Photo credit to David Hegarty.
The Irish Muslim community has announced it is to conduct a nationwide collection at the State’s mosques in aid of those affected by the recent floods. Mosques involved in the collection with include those in Clonskeagh, Co Dublin; Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo; and Cork and Galway. The Irish Muslim Flood Relief Committee can be contacted on 01 6729038.
Last week, the Irish Red Cross estimated it has raised over €300,000 so far for its flood relief operations. Donations can be made online at www.redcross.ie or by calling 1850 50 70 70. There are approximately 6000 members of the Irish Red Cross who are all volunteers serving in local communities in every county in Ireland. The Irish Red Cross is responding to floods in Ireland, in fulfilment of its role as an auxiliary to the state.
So folks. you have no excuse not to help out.