Ben, 7, buys 78 sleeping bags for homeless

by Sylvia Pownall

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD schoolboy has raided his piggy bank to buy sleeping bags for the homeless.


Ben Armstrong was so concerned about rough sleepers outdoors in harsh weather conditions he decided to use his Christmas savings of €70 to help them.


Ben, from Corduff in Blanchardstown, raised even more money through family and friends and on Monday he handed over 78 sleeping bags to a homeless charity.


His proud mum, Deborah, told Dublin Gazette: “After the last storm Ben came downstairs from his bed extremely upset.


“He was very concerned for the homeless people.”


Ben raised more than €300 to add to his own money and after buying up the entire stock in Penneys, he spoke to the manager to request 60 more units.


These were delivered from the chain’s depot in Thor, Spain and on Monday night Ben and Deborah handed them over to A Lending Hand outside the Central Bank.


According to mum-of-three Deborah, this is just the latest in a long list of charitable acts by her thoughtful son.


She revealed: “Ben is such a sweet boy. His younger brother, Mikey (3) has severe SPD [sensory processing disorder] and other issues.


“It means he can’t go into crowds, can’t have certain materials, can’t have certain foods. But Ben is so patient and understanding.


“Ben taught him to speak. He sits down with Mikey every day and reads a book. He is wise beyond his years – my mam calls him ‘the old soul’.”


Ben, who also has an older brother, Aaron (13), is known for the kindness he shows others at St Patrick’s Junior School in Corduff, where he is in his communion year.


Deborah revealed: “He used to watch out for kids who looked lonely and sit beside them and ask them to be friends.


“I said: ‘Did you tell your teacher about the sleeping bags?’ and he said: ‘I don’t think we should do things for recognition, we should do them to help others’.


“I reckon he’s going to be an aid worker overseas. My cousins go to South Africa every year to help a charity out there and every year he asks if he can go.


“Every Christmas, he donates his toys to charity and does extra chores to buy a gift for a child to leave under the St Vincent de Paul tree.


“I’m so proud of my kind-hearted little boy.”

Related Articles