By Aoife Kearns
The Mammies of Ireland are on a mission this Christmas, in an appeal that has become increasingly popular all thanks to the power of social media.
To date, the Mas on a mission ‘Christmas Toy Appeal’ has raised €21,000 via their Go Fund Me page as well as running a nationwide toy donation day this month.
The main aim of the appeal is to collect 20,000 toys for the 104 charities now benefiting from the initiative.
With support from the length and breadth of the country, the woman who started the hugely successful Facebook Group and this Christmas Toy Appeal Suzanne Burke, explain how it initially came about:
“Mas on a mission is a community where 100 thousand women come to vent, seek advice and of course have the craic. But there is also a lot of serious issues discussed within the group.
“Some of the issues discussed within the forum come from homeless women and families. As Christmas approached it became clear that for them, the festive season was causing a great deal of worry.”
“Because of this, I just thought we could do something worthwhile within the group and it just blew up from there.”
Suzanne knew that group had a strong following but was not expecting the sheer volume of people, that would get behind the appeal.
“We raised €21,000 through a Go Fund Me and that will be spent on gifts. All the toys will be given to 104 charities and organisations that help children including kids in homeless accommodation and children in hospital among many other fantastic organisations.
“We also had a huge drop off event in November, where we ended up having a donation point in almost every county in Ireland.”
One of the volunteers at the Kilkenny collection point at Cillín Hill, Noreen Hennessy said:
“I was a member of the Mas on a mission group and when this started, I just thought it was a great idea.
“I had no idea how much it was going to take off, but it has really just snowballed,” she continued.
“I have two small grandchildren and it would break my heart if for any reason they couldn’t have toys for Christmas. Sadly, there are so many children that are in that position.
“Christmas can be a really tough time of the year for mothers and families. You need heat for your house, you need food and unfortunately things like toys might get left on the back burner. I really think this toy appeal will help a lot of people.”
The next step for the Mas on a mission Christmas Toy appeal is the sorting and packing as Suzanne explains:
“Following the nationwide drop off event, couriers worked from morning to night, and dropped all the toys to a lock up donated to us by Nesta,
“Now the big work begins! Volunteers will be busy for the next while, sorting and dividing toys so they can go to the charities on roughly the 30th of November.”
For people who missed out on the major donation there’s still time though! The group are still accepting gifts and are particularly looking for gifts appropriate for teenagers.
You can drop or post your donations to:
Nesta Storage Deansgrange/ Swords, Dublin or any HomeSavers store in Ireland before November 28th.
More information can be found via Facebook at Mas on a mission.