Brought to you by Cork Simon.
It’s much more than a gift.
That’s the moving message behind Cork Simon Community’s Christmas campaign this year, as the organisation opens sign-ups for one of its best-loved fundraisers.
Simon’s Christmas Jumper Day will once again see workplaces and offices abuzz with Christmas cheer as everyone ditches the dress code for a few hours of knitted snowmen sweaters, glittery reindeer cardigans, and tree-mendously tacky tinsel headbands.
You might even take a few elfies (sorry).
All you have to do to host your own Christmas Jumper Day at home, at the office, at school, online or anywhere you can celebrate is sign up here, plan your Christmas Jumper Day and help raise much-needed funds so that nobody has to spend Christmas on the street.
You could team it with a mince pie bake sale, a hot chocolate station (add marshmallows, candy canes and whipped cream for added pizzazz), or a potluck lunch with your colleagues.
‘No one deserves to be homeless’
This year, Cork Simon Community’s More Than a Gift campaign aims to highlight how your support for Cork Simon has a long-lasting, positive impact on the lives of men and women experiencing homelessness in Cork.
“Everything we do depends on the generosity and participation of the wider community here in Cork.” said Head of Fundraising, Rachel Stevenson.
“No matter how people support us – be it donating, sponsoring a room, organising or participating in a fundraiser; every act of kindness helps to change lives and save lives. It’s much more than a gift.”
Cork Simon’s More Than A Gift Christmas campaign draws on the real-life experience of Ruairí* who was eventually pushed into homelessness following a traumatic childhood experience.
His own words, “No one wants their child to grow up to be homeless on Christmas Day” were the inspiration for the campaign.
Ruairí recalls reaching “rock bottom” three days before Christmas not knowing how to deal with sleeping rough. But he says he “started to heal” when he got his own bed, his own room, and a support worker at Cork Simon to help him deal with the root cause of his homelessness.
“No one deserves to be homeless,” says Ruairí.
Speaking of the generosity of people in Cork who helped change his life, he says, “It can lift the burden of decades of pain. I’d have remained that little boy in pain – with no hope and no future. For the first time in a very long time, I felt loved. I felt cared for. I felt wanted.”
*Ruairí’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.
Cork Simon’s More Than A Gift campaign in the run-up to Christmas is asking people throughout Cork to give the gift of hope and a new start for the men and women it is supporting right now by donating, sponsoring a room, or organising a fundraiser like a Cork Simon Christmas Jumper Day.
For details, visit corksimon.ie.