Big-hearted GAA clubs across County Antrim are making a difference to hundreds of families this Christmas by teaming up with St Vincent de Paul (SVP) to spread seasonal cheer to some of the most vulnerable in society.
The clubs across the county will collect donations through their #SaffronAid fundraising campaign which was the brainchild of Antrim GAA PRO, Sean Kelly. He has mobilised Gaels throughout the county to back the Saffron shoebox appeal which will see hundreds of gifts being distributed to local families in need and homeless people over the next few weeks.
“In the GAA we are justifiably proud of our sense of community and on that note we want to help those who are
less fortunate,” said Sean.
“At this time of year, most of us don’t realise how lucky we really are, but for some people Christmas can be just another day trying to keep warm, get enough to eat or struggling to do the most basic of things like brushing their teeth or putting on a clean pair of soks.”
“It’s very simple to get involved. The next time you’re out and about, pick up a few extra items, place them in a shoebox, wrap the box and mark on it whether it is suitable for a man or woman. Or you can provide a new, unwrapped gift for child up to 16 years old. SVP will then collect all donations from your local GAA club.”
Pauline Brown, regional manager of SVP, added: “We are really delighted to have the clubs across County Antrim on board collecting for our Christmas Appeal as part of Saffron Aid. Each year thousands of families approach us for support at Christmas time alone, when budgets are stretched to capacity. So this campaign really will make a huge difference to so many people in our communities who may be struggling at this time of the year and help to make their Christmas a little bit brighter.
“I would like to thank the GAA for bringing our appeal to the attention of their players and supporters, and to everyone who is taking part. We know it is a busy and very expensive time of year for everyone but picking up just one extra toy or a few small items, and giving it to this appeal could bring a smile to someone who might otherwise wake up with nothing on Christmas morning.”
The closing date for receipt of donations to all clubs is 14 December. For further information on Antrim GAA’s #SaffronAid campaign, please visit antrim.gaa.ie.