Distributing Bags for Life

03 January 2019

By Barbara Filaih

December was a busy month for MSOE volunteers, especially the last two weeks of the month. In addition to our usual Friday night soup-run, our volunteers spent three days collecting items from Tesco Food Appeal. From Dec 7th – 9th our volunteers went to Tesco Rathmines and Tesco Dundrum and collected dried, tinned, non-perishable food and other items for our food drive.

These items were then transported and stored in our storeroom at our office. On Monday December 17th our volunteers used the donated items to make up hampers for the needy. They also packed the Bags for Life. These consisted of rucksacks red for women and black for men, each backpack contained, a groundsheet, pop-up tent, sleeping bag, hygiene packs, hat, scarf and glove and protein packs.

On Christmas Eve our volunteers met up at the GPO to collect the backpacks for distribution. We split up into groups of four and were allocated areas to cover, looking for rough sleepers. One group was dispatched to the Grafton St area, we avoided the main part of the street and focussed on the back streets and around Dawson St. We encountered several rough sleepers who were overcome with joy at the gift of the backpacks. One elderly man hugged the volunteers and cried when he was given the bag. He explained that he preferred sleeping rough to using hostels because there is always a chance that he might get beaten up and have his belongings robbed. Another couple we came across when we asked if they were rough sleepers the girl said that the young man was, her honesty was refreshing.

Some of the other groups returned to the GPO several times to collect more bags for distribution. We had a total of 95 bags and distributed 75. The left-over bags will be brought to the soup run for distribution.

The city centre was busy with many people sleeping out for charity and others collecting money for the less fortunate. There were many people shopping, but there was a lot of love and dedication on the streets of Dublin.

MSOE would like to thank Tesco Rathmines and Tesco Dundrum for their generosity facilitating the Food Appeal. We would also like to thank Tesco Kimmage for their generous donation of €370 from their Community Fund.

We would also like to give a huge shout out to Islamic Relief for their generous donation of sleeping bags, ground sheets and filled backpacks. Finally, we would like to thank our volunteers without whom none of this would be possible.

They look forward to a couple of days off before returning to the soup run. We are looking forward to continuing our work in the New Year.

MSOE would like to thank our regular donors Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Fyffes fruit and the Food Cloud. MSOE need the following items:

- Water
- Fruit
- Hot food
- Sandwiches
- Chocolate
- Drinks
- Sleeping bags
- Hygiene bags

These can be donated to our office at 1 Frankfort Centre Dundrum.MSOE operate an open-door policy and welcomes people of all faiths or none.
To donate or volunteer phone 0867854866 or contact us via Facebook.com/muslimsisterofeire

Account Number: 47807186
NSC:93 10 47
Phone: Lorraine 086 785 4866


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