Volunteer Sean Gallagher says Derry’s response to a Christmas appeal for aid for Syrian refugees was phenomenal and saw £100,000 worth of goods shipped to Athens.
Two 40 foot lorry loads were shipped out rather than the single container that had originally been envisaged.
The St Vincent de Paul driver, Sean Gallagher, who was shocked at the suffering he encountered when he visited the camps in Greece last summer, said the response was unbelievable.
“Since starting the refugee appeal in October the response has been overwhelming. In five weeks we managed to fill two 40 foot containers,” said Mr. Gallagher.
Donations poured in from Derry, Donegal, Limavady, Omagh, Coleraine and even Sligo.
“It was estimated there was well over £100,000 worth of vital food feeding up to 500 families living in derelict buildings,” said Mr. Gallagher.
But another shipment is urgently needed.
“Both containers were empty within a week. Although we had a great response this is an on going problem. We are sending another going out, hopefully, by the end of January.
Drop off points for non-perishable food items and winter clothing and shoes, particularly for men, include: St Vincent de Paul, William Street; Max Fashion, Waterloo Street; Pilot’s Row; Cromore Pre-school centre; Waterside Women’s Centre, Chapel Road; the Holy Family Chapel; and Mr Gallagher’s home at 9 Pinetrees.
For more on how to help contact Sean on 07592252436 or Claire Thompson in Donegal on 00353877441190.