Derry mum and teen set up collection for Gaza kids

A Derry mother and a teenager have issued a call for local people to help donate toys, clothing and other goods for the children of Gaza.

The two strangers were brought together out of their concern for the children of Gaza.

Padraig Delargey (18) from West End Park and mother-of-three Catherine Hutton (45) from Hatmore had both contacted Turf Lodge Residents Association independently to see if they could help do something in Derry after seeing their Belfast toy appeal for Gaza.

Through the Belfast appeal, the two Derry people were put into contact with each other and have secured permission from staff at the Gasyard Centre to use it as the drop off point for the goods.

Donations have already been pouring in from local people witnessing the horror visited on Gaza.

Among the items being sought are new baby and children’s clothes, new underwear, baby’s bottles, soothers, baby wipes, cots, prams, high chairs and Moses baskets.

Children and adult bikes, baby walkers, sleeping bags and women’s sanitary pads are also being sought.

The Derry appeal have issued a call for as many Derry sporting clubs to donate a jersey as an expression of their humanitarian support for the Gaza aid mission.

Padraig Delargey said he saw the Turf Lodge Appeal on Facebook and thought it was a great idea to do something in support of this.

Speaking to the Journal, Patrick said: “It is something more practical people can do to help.

“Obviously the protests are good and important and I believe this is important as well.

“It is mostly aimed at helping children- that was a big thing that resonated with people- that was why we started it, that was why we got involved.

“The thing that has motivated a lot of people was the killing of the four wee boys on the beach in Gaza, all of them under 11. To see the systematic hunting down of them was something I think that very much motivated people to do something.”

Catherine Hutton added: “The horror of everything that was happening, as a mother I thought I thought I have to do something . I couldn’t sit back and watch helplessly.

“With this you can do wee bit of practical assistance, support, show solidarity and humanity.

“We would like to see as many people donating as possible,” Mrs Hutton added.

The Gasyard will be taking donations from 9am to 5pm today (Friday) and on Monday from 9am up until 6pm. Over the weekend, Hillcrest House in Top Of The Hill has also agreed to store donations if needed.

All donations have to be boxed by Tuesday morning, before a van arrives from the parent appeal operation in Belfast. The goods will then be transferred to Dublin and loaded on to a cargo ship and taken to Gaza when permission to get it through the blockade is secured.

Local people have been asked to check online or on packaging to make sure that brands of baby goods such as popular nappies, baby powder and other items are suitable and acceptable for the Palestinian people in Gaza. For more info check out the new Facebook Page ‘Gaza Toy Drive Derry’.

The death toll in Gaza now stands at over 1,300 people.