A big-hearted young Derry mother who issued a public appeal for toys and goods to help Derry’s “heroic” single mums, dads and families facing hardship this Christmas has been offered premises in the city to be used as a drop off point.
Natasha Davies (23) told the ‘Journal’ that Patrick McGonagle has offered his loading bay and factory as a drop off point for donations.
“Patrick has offered to supply us with boxes, tape and tables - basically everything we need which is absolutely amazing,” she said.
“From Thursday next week anyone can drop off donations to 20 Springtown Industrial Estate.
“If you pass Cash for Clothing and Seagate Carpark you will see a factory on the right and all donations can be left to reception.”
Natasha has asked local businesses to get involved with the collections - particularly for food, oil and heaters.
“We are also looking for looking for toys, clothes, soap sets, toiletries, etc anything to make a family’s christmas.”
Ms Davies, who has previously set up the ‘Mums Support Group Derry’ as an online support network for local mothers and which also meets up regularly, is calling this appeal ‘Derry’s Christmas Wish’.
“There’s a lot of single mothers and single fathers facing struggles, there are people sitting with absolutely nothing; there are people who find themselves just coming out of abusive and violent relationships; people who have lost jobs or can’t work though sickness, and maybe families with both parents at home, who find themselves without money at Christmas.”
Natasha said that in the past she herself struggled to provide toys for her children at Christmas.
She said her daughter got a second hand doll and pram one year and was delighted until she went to school and heard what Santa had brought her friends. Natasha said her daughter came home from school in tears, unable to understand why Santa had not given her the same as her friends when she had been really good. I thought after that, if I can, I am going to go out of my way to ensure that no children feels they’re not good enough.”
“I have had so many messages from mums, their stories and what they are going through. I have so much admiration for them, putting their children first even they are having difficulties themselves and I think there are so many single parents out there who are heroes.
“Christmas is the perfect opportunity for goodwill. Derry can be a place of support when it wants to be. It is just nice to give, even if it’s just a selection box, to one child, that could mean everything.”
Natasha is looking for new and as good as new toys, donations of tinned food goods, tins of sweets and selection boxes, toiletry sets and vouchers for mums and dads and children’s clothing, coats and pyjamas.
Goods can be collected by Natasha or arrangements can be made for drop-off via messages to her on either of her Facebook pages. And Natasha has urged anyone struggling this Christmas or who knows any families in need to get in contact, via private messages in confidence.