Bohemian FC plea for donations to give children in direct provision toys for Christmas

Bohemian FC is asking for donations so they can give children in direct provision toys for Christmas.

he club said: “Times have been really hard for everyone lately, we are now collectively pulling through, but imagine you are a child in a Direct Provision Center through all of this”.

They have one week left to raise €80,000 for the 2,500 children currently living in the direct provision system.

The football club has joined up with Bang Bang cafe in Phibsborough to give each child a gift worth €35.

Chief operating officer and co-owner of the café, Daniel Lambert, told the Irish Independent: “We started doing this four or five years ago, the first one was just for kids in Clondalkin. Then so many more people wanted to donate so it grew.

“Over the last few years, we’ve been trying to get something for someone in every direct provision center in the country.

“There’s 42 centers across the country.

“This year is a bit slower; we know people have less money, and with what’s going on in Ukraine. It’s a bit of a weird time for people in Ireland. But anything you can do; it helps kids in bad circumstances.”

Mr Lambert is urging people to donate online too. Those living in the Phibsborough area can also drop off new, unwrapped gifts into Bang Bang or the football club.

You can also post one-for-all vouchers to Bohemians FC which will be given to teenagers living in direct provision.

“Lucky Khambule is the head of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, we’d a big zoom call with him last year.” Daniel said.

“Kids from each center did a song, dance, or performance. One kid, who was about seven, came on and said to us, ‘thanks for not forgetting about us.’

“We try to get a mix of things like Twister, games that can be played with a few people.

“DHL gives us the use of their hall and they deliver all the presents. We need to finish fundraising by next Friday. With €80,000 we can get the kids a present worth €35 each.

“For babies, we get them clothes. From three years old to 14, we get them toys and from 15 up get One For All vouchers.”

He said last year other places donated.

“A book shop in Maynooth gave a lot of kids’ books, a guy down in Tipperary who makes hurls for kids brought some up.

“We’ve volunteers from Phibsborough and the Boh’s men packing in the RDS on the 8th of December and DHL pick it up on the 9th. We couldn’t do it without the RDS and DHL.

“You need a big place for trucks to come in and out of. DHL comes and delivers all around the country right before Christmas. If you lost one of them, it couldn’t happen.”

There has been over €30,000 raised so far but with six days left, there’s still €50,000 to raise for 2,500 children in Direct Provision from Kerry to Leitrim, Sligo to Finglas.

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