A NIGHT out in Belfast left such a lasting impression on a young Castlederg woman that she was spurred on to take whatever action she could to try and help those living homeless in the city.
Just before Christmas last year Kerri Edgar went to Belfast to socialise. While there she was struck by the numbers of people sleeping rough on the streets, and warm-hearted Kerri soon struck up conversations with many of those individuals and heard their stories.
When she came home the next day Kerri was determined to play her part to help those less fortunate. She explains,
“I decided to start a collection locally, and within a few weeks I had £250, 10 bags of clothes, and a range of food and toiletries gathered up. Myself and five of my friends then took them all to Belfast and distributed them to people on the streets and some of the homeless hostels.
“The reaction from the people we were able to help was just amazing. They had me in tears,” Kerri explained.
“As well as the practical stuff we were able to hand out, they were so delighted that someone was taking the time to talk to them. They are just the same as you or me.
“So this year I decided to try and do even more. I’ve started the collection earlier and my intention is firstly to gather items to distribute in Newry and Dublin, and then collect more for Belfast and Derry.
“People locally have been brilliant and I can’t thank them enough for their support. The main things that are needed are blankets/sleeping bags, warm coats, gloves, hats. scarves – anything thermal is great; and then non-perishable food items and toiletries.
“Whatever you can give will be distributed to someone who needs it,” Kerri added.
- Anyone who wishes to donate to Kerri’s appeal can contact her on Facebook or drop items in to the Anchor and Rose Tattoo Parlour in Strabane.