The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, is encouraging local people to support a special initiative geared towards assisting disadvantaged families over the Christmas period.
Giving Tuesday takes place on Tuesday, December 1, and items are now being collected for distribution on the day to local community groups for allocation where most needed in their areas. The Mayor is now calling on local businesses and members of the public to give generously to alleviate the strain on families who will be struggling to make ends meet this Christmas.
“I am delighted to launch this campaign and I know it will be widely supported across the district,” she said. “So many people within our local communities are struggling financially and Christmas places an additional burden on people who are trying to feed their families and pay bills.
“All donations - whether gifts, money or vouchers - will contribute to making someone’s Christmas special, and no contribution is too small. We all overspend at this time of year, and by giving that little bit extra we can ensure that other families as well as our own will be fed and warm this Christmas.
“This excellent work couldn’t happen without the support of our highly committed community workers and volunteers working all year to help families and the vulnerable in our communities.”
Giving Tuesday is a global movement to create an international day of giving aimed at supporting the most vulnerable in our community. And the giving is not just restricted to gifts or donations, even giving up some time to volunteer or help others in need can make a huge difference.
One local business which has already pledged their support to the campaign is local gym Fighting Fit. Members will be donating items to the initiative throughout the weeks leading up to Giving Tuesday and owner Seamus Fox will be donating his time on 1st December by extending an open invitation to anyone who has never been to a gym to come along and get advice on fitness, health and wellbeing with a view to changing their lifestyle.
The Mayor has urged other local businesses to follow suit and get behind the campaign in whatever way they can.
Donations will be accepted and recorded at any of the following collection points from Monday 9th November 2015: Derry City and Strabane District Council Offices in both Derry and Strabane, Shantallow Community Centre, Foyle Arena, Bishops Field Sports Centre, Templemore Sports Complex and Melvin Sports Complex, Riversdale Leisure Centre and Castlederg Leisure Centre. Community representatives have indicated that oil and electric vouchers, vouchers for gifts, especially for older children or teenagers who are often forgotten at this time, will fill the additional gaps that have been identified in current initiatives.
These donations are over and above the resources already provided by St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army, along with the Rotary Club and the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
All donations left at the named Council premises will be recorded at the centres and acknowledged by the Mayor. The donations will then be given to the participating community groups to distribute within the community in accordance with their ‘Giving Tuesday’ event.
Other ways people can spread the word about Giving Tuesday;
• Share information about Giving Tuesday with Friends, Family and Colleagues etc.
• Encourage staff, trustees, employees to participate in Giving Tuesday
• Share information about Giving Tuesday to the broader community – website, social media
For more information on collection points and a list of suitable gifts please go to www.derrystrabane.com/mayor