Uncle Tom’s Hampers is a charity that provides hampers at Christmas to families in need. Inspired by Uncle Tom and his work with St. Vincent de Paul, the charity has grown from supplying 2 hampers in the first year to now supplying over 200 hampers annually to families in need at Christmas. They were chosen by you as one of our Mykidstime Charities Of The Year for 2020. Read on to find out more.
How Uncle Tom’s Hampers Began
Uncle Tom was an active member in St. Vincent de Paul for many years until he passed away in December 2014. Uncle Tom’s Hampers came about when founding member, Shane O’Reilly attended some meetings at the Bray Conference with Tom to get a better understanding of how St. Vincent de Paul works and how he could get involved too.
Coming up to Christmas, Tom suggested that Shane create a hamper for a large family that were badly in need. Shane asked his Mum to help him choose the goods to be included. They ended up with enough items for 2 hampers, which were both given to different families. The following year, with the help of friends and family, they created 5 hampers. And so it began.
What Uncle Tom’s Hampers Do
Uncle Tom’s Hampers currently work with 6 different SVP conferences between Wicklow and Dublin. Each year they are given a list of families in need and they match them with suitable volunteer donor families of a similar size and make up.
They encourage the donor family to include their own children in the shopping, preparation and delivering of the hamper so the hamper is thoughtful and age appropriate as well as being an essential part of Christmas for the recipients.
How You Can Get Involved
If you and your family would like to help a family in need this Christmas, visit the Uncle Tom’s Hampers Facebook page. Use the private message function to contact the team and include your email address. You will be contacted for some information about your family to help match you with a suitable family to take care of this Christmas.
All members of the family are encouraged to help in the shopping, preparation and delivery of the hamper. You will be given guidelines on what to include.
Your family will be invited to come to the collection depot in Sandyford on an appointed date in December to drop off your hamper and meet other donor families. It is a family friendly occasion with tea, coffee and mince pies. And a lovely way to introduce your children to ways they can help others and give to those less fortunate than themselves.