Raheen students set to help out children in need

Owen Hickey

Reporter:

Owen Hickey

PUPILS from Gaelscoil an Raithín showed their generous side on Friday when they put together presents for children in need.

PUPILS from Gaelscoil an Raithín showed their generous side on Friday when they put together presents for children in need.

In total, students from junior infants right up to 6th class are to send 214 shoeboxes filled with gifts for Christmas.

For the Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal, children fill a shoebox with household items and send it to children in Africa and East Europe.

Deputy principal in Gaelscoil an Raithín, Imelda Ní Shomacáin says the children enjoy participating each year.

“It shows them the true meaning of Christmas.

“It’s part of the ethos of the school too, to help others in need,” she said.

The Limerick operation is based in the City East Plaza in Ballysimon, where co-ordinator Deborah Begley has been busy making the final preparations to this year’s project.

Team Hope will continue to accept donations at the Plaza up until Friday November 18

“It’s been a little slower this year, but it’s picked up recently. It’s understandable considering the way things are at the moment.

“It’s early days yet, but we’re here until Friday November 18 in the Plaza so we’re looking for volunteers and for people to help out,” said Ms Begley.

This year, the first 8,000 Limerick shoeboxes will go to Africa.

Local school Hazelwood College have linked up with Team Hope to help process the boxes, with Ms Begley describing the warehouse as a “hive of activity”.

Limerick people sent more than 14,000 shoeboxes as part of the appeal last year and Ms Begley is hoping to exceed that figure this year.

“These are children desperately in need, as many of them are orphans from a young age. These are the only presents they’re ever likely to get so we hope people will support us.”