The Aisling Irish Community Center in Yonkers is appealing to the good nature of Irish people this holiday season to donate food, clothing, toys or vouchers in an effort to help out those in the community who may be feeling the pinch of the recession.
The center has teamed with Mike McMahon of the Local 3 Electrical Union and his colleagues to assist Irish who are down on their luck this time of year.
"It's what we do," said McMahon on Tuesday. The Local 3 is known for their generous work with various local charities, including helping out the Irish Volunteers for the Homeless on Thanksgiving.
The idea of the appeal came to fruition during the preparation of the Thanksgiving meals for New York's homeless at the center a few weeks ago.
"I mentioned to Mike I would like to do something for less fortunate people and families locally," said Orla Kelleher, executive director of the center.
Kelleher said that for the past few months, the center has been made aware, directly and indirectly, of families and individuals who have either lost their jobs or are suffering a particular hardship this year as a direct result of the economic downturn.
The center will accept, from now until December 15, specific non-perishable food, toys, books and new items of clothing.
"We will also accept cash or gift vouchers/cards for local supermarkets and butcher shops so that people can purchase their turkey, fresh vegetables and potatoes themselves," she added.
Cash and gift card donations can be made anytime between now and December 23. The center can only accept food, toys, books and clothes donations the week of December 15 - 19.
The center asks that people wanting to donate something should call 914-237-5121 first to find out what is needed.