Limerick man encourages generosity and kindness to homeless

Daniel Keating

Reporter:

Daniel Keating

Email:

daniel.keating@limerickleader.ie

“I am not lost, if you are cold and need me, please take me,” was written on the note

“I am not lost, if you are cold and need me, please take me,” was written on the note

IT IS hoped an act of kindness by a Ballingarry man to help the homeless will encourage more generosity and kindness across Limerick city and county.

Paddy Hartnett, 40, tied a scarf around a pole outside Penneys on O’Connell Street with a note attached encouraging those who needed it to take it. 

“I am not lost, if you are cold and need me, please take me,” was written on the note. 

Posting a picture of the scarf on the pole to his Twitter account he encouraged others to be kind saying, “With the time of year that’s in it and the current cold that’s out there, remember the less fortunate wherever u are, I put this up on a pole today in town so hopefully someone who needs it takes it. Be kind and give a little as its the small things in life that matter to some”.

Mr Hartnett says that mental health and homelessness can both “intertwine”.

“If a person is homeless then it can be draining on their mind as well as their body and giving something small like a coat might help the person have a positive outlook on life if they know that people care.”

The Ballingarry man has said that his act of kindness is similar to that of Limerick personal trainer Eric Johnston’s toy drive. 

Mr Johnston’s drive which has taken place over the last number of years has seen an appeal to the public to donate unwanted toys which can then be distributed to children in need.

“I think a lot of people can help those in need and that’s why I did it to show that and for me it’s just to help and show people in need that we do care and they belong in this world as much as anybody else, but also to show people that one act of kindness can have a ripple effect,” he explained.

Mr Hartnett believes that more should be done to help mental health and homelessness and he gave the example of his friend Ken Gorman who is taking part in the Novas sleep-out this month.  

“When I was tying the scarf on the pole people were looking at me oddly but once I walked away people got interested and started reading the little note attached, so hopefully it sits in their heads and they do the same,” said Mr Hartnett. 

When Mr Hartnett returned to the spot where he left the scarf later that evening he discovered that it had been taken and he hopes it went to someone that needs it. 

“I do think people can help with homelessness by giving direct to charities or even helping a little more when it comes to being a volunteer,” he added.