A group of Dublin mothers are playing their part in helping to collect 20,000 toys to distribute so less fortunate little ones can have a bit of festive sparkle.
The ‘Mas on a Mission’ group was set up just ten months ago, but it is on target to meet its goal of providing Christmas presents for disadvantaged kids nationwide.
Volunteers were literally snowed under with donations at the weekend with drop-off points in Blanchardstown, the Phoenix Park and Liffey Valley doing brisk business.
Now, organiser Suzanne Carroll is urging those who want to give a gift to get their toy in on time before the November 28 deadline.
She told Dublin Gazette: “There were Santas, face painting, parties for the kids, and this took place across the 26 counties. All the toys are in storage and we have a ton of volunteers to count and sort them.
“It’s hard to tell if we’ve hit the 20,000 mark, because they’re in six different units. I couldn’t put a number on it, but we were bowled over with the response.”
Suzanne set up the Mas on a Mission Facebook page in February and it’s proven so successful that she had to cap membership at 100,000 followers.
She also had to take on six women to help her moderate the site, which receives over 2,000 messages a day. The Christmas Toy Appeal has been a runaway success.
The toys will be distributed via charities including Ronald McDonald House, Aoibheann’s Pink Tie and Focus Ireland to disadvantaged, sick and homeless children.
Gifts to the value of €20 are being collected and, as of Tuesday, there was a shortfall in the number of toys or presents for teenagers.
Suzanne said: “We are hearing these stories all the time – women terrified how they’re going to afford Christmas. We have families living in B&Bs; there is a lot of hardship out there.
“This is a way for people to help out and spread a bit of cheer, which is what Christmas is all about at the end of the day.”
Toys can be donated to any Homesavers store nationwide, or to any Nesta Storage outlet in Dublin.
Gifts and vouchers can also be posted to Nesta Storage, DMG House, Deansgrange, D18.