A Ballinderry business man who said he has been plagued with thoughts of children going without over Christmas for years, has this year decided to do something about it.
In support of St Vincent de Paul’s Christmas Toy Drive, Ronan McGuckin has organised a collection day at St Patrick’s church hall in Ballinderry on Sunday, December 14 as well as six toy drop-off points in shops and businesses in the area.
Speaking about his efforts for families hard-hit over the festive season, Ronan told the Mail: “I was speaking to Dennis Loughry who heads up St Vincent de Paul in the Cookstown area, and he was telling me about the plight they face every year in the local area where loads of families just can’t make it happen - and there are kids that are waking up on Christmas morning with nothing.
“It struck a chord with me because I’ve got a house full of kids myself, and the thought of them not having something on Christmas morning would break your heart.
“The main collection day is on Sunday at St Patrick’s Ballinderry, church hall, where people can come along between 10.45-2pm and drop off an extra toy that they’ve bought - those toys will be given to St Vincent de Paul for distribution in the local area to families that need it.”
But for people who can’t make it on Sunday, Mr McGuckin said there are also six collection points in shops across Ballinderry, Loup, Ballyronan, Derrychrin, Moortown and Ardboe, where people can leave their contribution to St Vincent’s Toy Drive.
“Anything that’s new and unwrapped we would love to have it,” he added. “Seemingly every year demand far outweighs the supply - so any gift at all will help and maybe make some wee kids day a bit more bearable.”
Delighted with the response so far, Dennis Loughry said: “The toy appeal, in our 170th year, has special significance as welfare reforms and delay in benefit payments are inflicting intolerable pressures on families. At this special Christian time of celebration it is very ironic families are on the brink of total despair.”
For details on collections call SVDP on 028 8676 3292.