A fundraising campaign to help provide gifts, heat and essentials for families in need across Northern Ireland has raised over £160,000 in just over two weeks thanks to the support of people across the province and everything has now been dispatched to the charities to distribute to the people who need the assistance.
DIGG Deep for Kids, which is in aid of the Simon Community, St Vincent De Paul and Cash for Kids, has been working with the three charities to purchase some of their most needed items and equipment including six defibrillators for the Simon Community shelters, quilts, bedding sets, mattress protectors, pillow sets, towels, dishes, electrical appliances, TVs for all the rooms to enable residents to have privacy and new furniture for the common rooms.
Last year’s campaign provided heat for 355 homes throughout 2021 and this year enough money has been raised to heat over 500 homes throughout 2022.

Caroline O’Neill, organiser of DIGG Deep for Kids said: “Once again, we are blown away by the amazing support from the people of Northern Ireland. Over £160,000 has been raised in just over two weeks to help the people who need it the most. Thanks to this generosity, we’ve been able to buy gifts for children who otherwise might have woken up on Christmas morning without one, provide vital essentials for shelters and enough heat for over 500 homes throughout 2022.

I would like to thank the many businesses that have supported the campaign and the incredible help we have received from our team of social media influencers who have used their networks to help maximise the donations and turn the donations into almost £500,000 worth of gifts and essentials for our charities. That’s the magic of Digg Deep for Kids and together, we have made a massive difference this Christmas, and into next year, for thousands of families across the province.”

Brendan McKernan, St Vincent De Paul, Regional Board member, said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Caroline O’Neill’s network in enabling us to assist with offering fuel vouchers to vulnerable families right across the province. Last year we were able to provide vouchers for heating to 200 families from Digg Deep donations and, by the time this year’s fundraising total is finalised we could be doubling that total in a year that has been particularly traumatic for some due to the continued rising of energy costs.”

Joanne McCallister, Head of Income Generation for the Simon Community said: “Each day Simon Community Northern Ireland supports up to 636 people who are homeless, or at risk of losing their home. We work to offer these families, young people and individuals safe, warm beds and the help they need to live independently again. Often those experiencing homelessness arrive at our doors with little or nothing.

The donations given from Digg Deep for Kids will help ensure children and young people have access to the technology needed to continue their education and that families have the essentials required to make a new start, such as bedlinen, towels and kitchen utensils. Digg Deep donations will also fund six life-saving defibrillators for our accommodation sites as well as helping redevelop the outdoor space at our dedicated family hostel. We at Simon Community are so grateful to Caroline and the local businesses and influencers who support her amazing campaign! It really will make such a difference to those who come to us for help in 2022.”

Lauren Baxter from Cash for Kids said: “We are absolutely delighted to be a beneficiary of Digg Deep for Kids again this year. We’ve had applications to help almost 11,000 local disadvantaged children. We work with local children’s charities, social workers, teachers and other front-line services to ensure that the children most in need wake up to gifts on Christmas Day. The great thing about Caroline’s campaign is that she’s able to use her network of local business contacts to generate the maximum amount of value for the money that’s been so kindly donated. I would like to say a personal thanks to everyone who has donated their time, money or goods to Digg Deep for Kids.”
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