Charity Experience Overwhelming Response to Flood Appeal

The local St Vincent de Paul Society has received an “incredible response” to its appeal for aid for Galway families affected by the flooding in east and south Galway.

Colm Noonan, its administrator, says the city branch office received about 200 calls since Monday.

“We did nothing but deal with calls on the flooding earlier this week. We took quite a lot. Our branch in Ballinasloe put out an appeal at lunchtime on Monday. At one stage it could not cope with the phones.

“We were re-routing calls here. They were coming from all over the western seaboard, our national office is getting calls from all over Ireland. The response from the public has been incredible, the goodwill from people is phenomenal.”

He says the charity was “overwhelmed” by the amount of clothing and bedding donated for the striken families.

“Families are all over the place in emergency accommodation. We were looking for children and adults’ clothing and bedding. Quite a lot of hotels gave duvets and bed clothes. It’s a major job to handle the amount of stuff donated, the pure logistics of sorting one or two tonnes of clothing - 100 black bags make up one tonne. People who leave clothes into us [at the charity’s Merchants Road charity shop or headquarters at Ozanam House, St Augustine Street] these go directly to Ballinasloe. Now that there is talk about people getting back into their homes cutlery, dishes, etc, will be needed. There are 10 to 12 St Vincent de Paul Society volunteers working in Ballinasloe and they are being helped by neighbours and friends.”

Mr Noonan says members of the public have made “quite substantial” financial donations to the society’s Ballinasloe branch to help victims of the flooding.

“The goodwill out there is incredible. I wonder if it is related to the recession. Do people pull together more at times like this? I think when there is a disaster people always pull together. This makes a community. The hospitality and goodwill shown to the people of Ballinasloe and the areas affected by the flooding has been astounding, phenomenal. All groups in the area are working closely together to help those in need.”


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