People may be fearful of what the budget announced this week will mean for their households next year, but several dozen local families won’t have to worry about whether there will be presents for their children on Christmas morning, thanks to the effort of a local woman.
Gillian Kavanagh and over a dozen supporters took to the city streets yesterday (Tuesday) morning to take part in the RTÉ 2fm Toy Appeal for the Society of St Vincent de Paul, supported by Supervalu.
Over €600 worth of toys were donated, along with €120 in cash and a €20 voucher, and as the group made its way from Langton’s on John Street, through the city centre and ending at Caulfield’s Supervalu in Loughboy, several donations were made along the route.
Other drivers honked their horns in support and cheered them on. “Fair play to you, Gillian!” shouted one driver as he passed.
Their wheelbarrow push included two wheelbarrows, but so many toys were donated that they also needed five trolleys to carry all of the gifts. The toys were given by local people, including children, and will be distributed to Kilkenny families this Christmas.
Before they set off, Gillian spoke on air to Ryan Tubridy and presenter Paddy McKenna about the wheelbarrow push.
“Spirits are high in Kilkenny,” she said from John Street. “The rain won’t stop me anyway.”
Overjoyed at the amount of support their appeal received, she said: “I didn’t think it would escalate as big as this. This country is quite shocked at the moment but at least we know that some children will wake up smiling on Christmas day.”
Toys can be donated to Loughboy Supervalu until this Saturday, and Gillian thanked all who helped to make Christmas a happier time for both children and parents.
“You walk down the street and you can see the worry in their faces,” she said. At least on this occasion walking down the street, she brought a bit of Christmas joy.