Dublin, 17 November 2020. Inner City Helping Homeless, the non-profit registered charity supporting Ireland’s homeless, is today launching its first ever virtual Santabox Appeal. It is hoped that through this new online platform, the charity can recoup some of the €200,000 worth of fundraising it has already missed out on this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help ensure essential gifts are delivered to those who need them most this Christmas.
Normally one of the biggest donation-drives for the charity annually, this year’s Santabox Appeal was expected to only take in around 10% of normal donation levels due to current level five restrictions and social distancing requirements. However, Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) has partnered with Expleo, the technology partner for innovative companies, to develop a new digital platform to enable donors to buy a virtual Santabox that will be packed and presented to those in need by a team of socially-distanced elves.
These Santaboxes are filled with essentials such as clothes, toys and toiletries along with a Christmas gift voucher. The contents of the Santaboxes will be tailored specially to the recipient based on gender and age.
The latest Department of Housing homeless figures released in October found that there were 8,656 homeless people in Ireland, made up of 6,073 adults and 2,583 children who are currently living in emergency accommodation.
Brian McLaughlin, Head of communication and fundraising at Inner City Helping Homeless said: “We are delighted to launch our Virtual Santabox Appeal with our corporate charity partners Expleo. By bringing our appeal online it will allow people to continue to support our annual appeal from the safety of their own homes.
“The major reduction in footfall nationwide due to COVID-19 restrictions means the difficulties confronting the homeless have become more pronounced. We hope the public will get behind the online appeal which will enable us to provide Santaboxes to families and individuals in emergency accommodation, on the streets, families in Direct Provision centres as well as those living alone.
“This has been a tough year for everyone; and we endeavour to put a smile on as many faces as possible this Christmas.”
Phil Codd, Managing Director of Expleo Ireland said: “We’re delighted to support such a worthy cause by digitally transforming the Santabox fundraising appeal and ensuring Inner City Helping Homeless can carry out their amazing work again this Christmas
“Through our ‘Rebooting Ireland’ initiative, which was launched earlier this year to help companies to innovate and digitise to continue in business throughout COVID-19, we designed an online platform for ICHH that provides donors with ability to choose who will receive their Santabox, and offers an opportunity to send a personalised Christmas message to the recipient.
“When we first met with ICHH they were concerned that some people may end up going without a Christmas gift this year. We hope that our new platform will help them exceed all previous records for Santaboxes collected and, crucially, provide vital support to those who need it most at this time of year. ”
Donors can pay between €15 and €35 to purchase individual Christmas gifts.