Kildare teen (18) appeals for funds to provide sleeping bags to the homeless

Charity running out of supplies during the cold weather

Sarah Peppard

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Sarah Peppard

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sarah.peppard@leinsterleader.ie

Naas teen (18) appeals for funds to provide sleeping bags to the homeless

Volunteers Abbi Stewart and Jamie Carroll (Naas) collecting sleeping bags for the homeless

An 18-year-old Naas student is raising funds for the homeless.

Jamie Carroll, a volunteer with the charity Homeless Mobile Run, is appealing for donations to buy sleeping bags.

Homeless Mobile Run are a voluntary, non-government funded organisation that provide hot dishes, snacks, tea, coffee, toiletries, clothes and sleeping bags to the homeless.

Jamie, a legal studies student in Waterford, has been volunteering with the charity for a year.

“My mam seen it on Facebook at the start, and she asked me to come along and it kind of opened my eyes to reality, because you wouldn’t see the graphic side to it on social media,” Jamie told the Leader.

Jamie said there are about 30-35 volunteers, who meet outside Dunnes Stores on Grafton Street every Wednesday and Sunday at 8pm.

“Wednesday we have about 200-250 people, and Sunday’s are busy, there could be up to 350 people that day, and that ranges from adults and kids.”

Jamie works in Tesco Extra Naas at the weekend, and leaves early on a Sunday to go to Dublin and help out with the charity.

Jamie said there is a massive demand for the services, so much so that they are running out of supplies. Jamie then decided to set up the GoFundMe on January 16.

“We ran out of sleeping bags and people were asking for big coats to throw over them and keep them warm, so I started the GoFundMe fundraiser.”

Jamie was also involved in a Christmas fundraiser where local barbers Hawk & Blade and Naas band The Rush lent a hand.

Jamie said he is taken aback by the support the fundraiser has gotten so far, with over €2,500 raised online alone.

“It doesn’t have to money donations, it could be toiletries or clothes that they don’t wear anymore, or if they want to go out and buy sleeping bags they can donate to us,” Jamie added.

On January 25, Jamie was honoured at the Kildare Garda Youth Awards which was held at Punchestown.

The awards celebrate outstanding young people between the ages of 13 and 21 years, who are doing great work in their community.

“One of the teachers put me up for it so I wasn’t expecting it, so I was a bit shook.”

To donate to Jamie's fundraiser, click HERE.

SEE ALSO: New bus service operating from Naas to Dublin set to start this month