Calls to the regional St. Vincent De Paul office in Naas have increased by 50 percent so far this year as the recession continues to hit Kildare families hard.
The office, which serves Kildare, Laois and Carlow, says there are several different concerns being raised by callers.
“Utility bills are high and disconnections are happening regularly. If households could make contact with us before they get disconnected, we could try and intervene with the energy provider, and see if we can come to some kind of financial arrangement that suits everyone. If the household gets disconnected there is the terrible inconvenience of a family with no electricity and there is also an added cost for reconnection,” said Michael O’Connor, Regional President, SVP South Midlands Region.
“Back to school is a very stressful time for families. Parents will do without themselves to ensure that their children have the uniform and books for September 1. We are assisting many families in this regard. We would ask people to make contact with us, we can’t always help but we will do our best. All contact with The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is confidential.”
The charity points out that this, of course, costs money. It stresses the general public has, and continues to, give brilliant support. “Our volunteers are fantastic at organising fundraising events such as golf classics, table quizzes, church gate collections, fashion shows - the list goes on and on. Our shops are also a great source of income and we are always looking for good quality clothing and furniture. Companies/businesses in the Laois, Kildare and Carlow areas have also been fantastic. Recycling days in companies and businesses are also very successful and we will assist any business/company who would like to organise such an event within the work place,” added Mr O’Connor.
Anyone seeking assistance can contact the Naas office on 045 888925 and the staff will put callers in contact with their local area. “Donations are always gratefully received and rest assured that what is collected locally stays locally,” stressed Mr O’Connor. “Demands on our volunteers at times can be intense, particularly around certain times of the year such as back to school and Christmas. We are always looking for new volunteers to assist us in our work. If you have a few hours per week to give we would love to hear from you. You make great friends in SVP and a great many of our volunteers have many many years of service.”