Two Derry women have undertaken a major project to help the city’s homeless population in the run up to Christmas.
Emma McKnight and Caoimhe Deery met through friends several years ago but had not stayed in touch. At the weekend Emma noticed a post that Caoimhe had put on Facebook appealing for warm clothing to donate to people who are homeless.
“I saw Caoimhe’s post on Monday night and I thought it was a great idea so I suggested she should start up a Facebook page. I do graphic design at university so I said I could help with that end of it and we got the Facebook page going. Once we had it set up we rang round seven shelters and told them we were thinking about doing a shoebox appeal for people who don’t have a lot at Christmas. They were absolutely delighted.”
Emma said she and Caoimhe have been overwhelmed by the response to the appeal since they started it at the beginning of the week.
“People have been getting in touch via Facebook and the response has been great. I think people are familiar with the concept of filling a shoebox with things but for most of us it was about sending that shoebox away to another country. The Help the Homeless idea for us is about helping people here in Derry.”
To date the projects which will benefit are Shepard’s View Young Parents, The Simon Community, Bonds Hill, the House in the Wells, Methodist City Mission, Damien House, Foyle Valley House and the Clarendon Shelter at Ashmore.
“We’ve outlined the type of people who will benefit in each project on our Facebook Page. We wanted to make the details very specific for those who want to donate so that it’s easier and they can choose who they would like to help.”
After their Facebook page rocketed to over 2,200 likes within the first two days of the appeal, Emma said she and Caoimhe have braced themselves for a busy few weeks.
“Once everything’s collected it will just be a matter of sorting through it all but in the meantime we just want to ask people to donate to those less fortunate.
For more information on how to donate telephone 07847 033253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org