THE haunting image of a mother and her four-year-old son sleeping rough on a Dublin street has inspired seven Strabane women to take some small steps to help tackle a major problem.
Giusell Di Nucci explained that something clicked inside of her when she saw the post on Facebook showing a young mother and son sleeping rough in Dublin.
“Being a mother myself I was absolutely devastated when I saw this image,” said Giusell.
“Obviously I was aware of homelessness across the country, but this picture really hit home. It is unbelievable to think that people are living rough in this day and age.”
Spurred on by a determination to make a difference, Giusell along with six other friends; Teresa Quigg, Katie Glenn, Róisín Hunter-McGlinchey, Leonii Wray Hester Glenn and Gemma McGarrigle decided to make it their mission to make a difference this winter.
“It really all began as a conversation among friends,” explains Giusell. “We all agreed that this shouldn’t be happening so we started a group chat between the seven of us. From that we held a meeting and we discussed what we could do to help people who are homeless.”
The seven friends decided to start a collection of necessary items such as blankets, warm clothing and toiletries which they will deliver to homeless people in Belfast, Derry and Dublin.
Taking the appeal public the women want your help.
“We are asking the people of Strabane and surrounding areas for their generosity and selflessness in giving much needed items that could potentially end up saving some of these poor people’s lives,” continued Giusell.
“Forecasters are predicting that this winter could be one of the worst in years, and while we will be warm, dry and comfortable in our homes there will be hundreds of desperate souls sleeping on a street, wet and frozen.
“If we could all give something – no matter how small – it could mean the absolute world to someone who may feel like the world is against them.”
Items required include; waterproof jackets, trousers, thermal clothing, socks, hats, gloves, longjohns, vests, and blankets, along with toiletries such as wipes, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Donations can also be made in the form of money which will be used to buy any remaining items not collected.
The girls have set organised that this weekend people can drop off their donations at Lisnafin Community Centre. All items collected will then be packed into boxes for delivery. The first delivery will take place in Belfast on December 17, with Derry and Dublin deliveries to follow shortly afterwards.
Encouraging as many people to help them in their mission Giusell added, “Please, please, if you can, please donate. Your generosity will help someone so much this winter and we want to thank those who have already made a donation. Let’s make a difference, let’s take a stand against homelessness.”
• The Strabane homeless collection will take place on Saturday, November 25 from 12-4pm and Sunday, November 26 from 11am-4pm at Lisnafin Community Centre. If you wish to make a monetary donation you can do so at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/giusell-dinucci.