Charity helps mums and dads put food on table

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Christmas will come early for some families in Portadown who are struggling to make ends meet in the run up to Christmas.

With food bills high and toy lists galore one charity has stepped in to lend a festive hand to help mums and dads put food on the table and a smile on their children’s faces.

iCare, a charity run by a team of volunteers from Homecare Independent Living, is demonstrating how it uses the power of business to create a better world by donating food parcels and toys for ‘iCare At Christmas’.

Mairead Mackle, the company’s chief executive, said socially minded organisations know that helping the communities in which they serve is ‘the right thing to do’.

She said, “Our annual fundraising event, Santa’s Gatelodge, came to an end on Friday night. It was hugely successful this year and every penny raised will be used to help families or individuals during the course of the year.

“Our community matters to us and while Christmas is a special time of year for some families it can be a time of stress and financial strain on others.

“This year we have decided to do something which will show families that support is there for them. This is the right thing to do. We have created food parcels and have some left over toys from Santa’s Gatelodge which we will donate to families who are struggling to put food on the table and buy presents for their children.”

iCare, which launched its ‘iCare Community Partnership Programme’ earlier this year, is committed to building relationships with the community in which it operates by contributing to the well-being of the people living in those communities.

Ms Mackle said, “Everybody has their own struggles. Our Support Services team want to do something meaningful as a gesture to support struggling families. We hope Friday’s ‘iCare At Christmas’ event will ease that financial pressure and worry for some families.

“People can come along and anonymously collect parcels from our Support Services team who will be at Crozier Hall at the Mall and at the Parish Office Gate Lodge at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh on Friday from 9am-1pm.”

Fr Peter McAnenly has requested that anyone intending to collect parcels from the Cathedral’s Parish Office should contact the office between Monday and Thursday to ensure the parcels are ready for collection. People can do so by calling 028 3752 2813 expressing if they want a hamper for themselves or indeed a family/ person they know.