The #WarmForWinter campaign is asking people to donate winter clothes for the Christmas season
The #WarmForWinter campaign is encouraging people to hang winter coats on Dublin's Ha’Penny Bridge for homeless people to take this Christmas season.
The Irishtown House in Dublin has helped the campaign, which was kicked off in Ireland last year by Irish man Paddy Fryers, go viral.
The message is simple: “If you need one, then take please one … If you want to help, please hang one up.”
The initiative comes as recent figures revealed that there are a staggering 10,514 people who are homeless in Ireland, with more than 3,800 children included in that figure.
Neil, a barman at The Irishtown Pub, told IrishCentral on December 6: “We were asked by a customer to share the pictures and help promote the initiative for the homeless."
Their initial post has since amassed more than 1.1 thousand likes:
#warmforwinter #hapennybridge #spreadthewordPubliée par The Irishtown House sur Mardi 3 décembre 2019
“We are stunned by the response of the post," Neil said, "We are delighted that so many people want to reach out and help them.”
Neil nor The Irishtown House want any credit for the initiative and say the idea was all Paddy Fryers, a native of Clones in Co Monaghan.
Fryers told IrishCentral: “The idea behind #WarmForWinter is that people all over Ireland would take the initiative and do it in their community for the people in need. If they don’t feel they have that issue, then seek out your nearest homeless shelter and donate to them.”
Last year, Fryers was inspired to bring the initiative to his hometown after he saw a Facebook post about a similar project in a different country where people were tying lightly-used coats to trees for the homeless to take.
“I figured why not give it a go,” Fryers said, who ended up collecting more than 100 winter coats last year before Christmas Eve and continued the effort through the end of January.
I wasn't going to do this because I don't want to be seen to be seeking prais or glory but in order for this to take off...Publiée par Paddy Fryers sur Jeudi 13 décembre 2018
Fryers kicked off his 2019 campaign in a September Facebook post where he urged people to donate "decent, WARM" jackets and winter clothing. He said all donations would be "left in a public area that is a common place for homeless people to hang out in the late night with the hopes of staying dry.
"Leaving them here allows them to access free warm clothing with feeling shame or judgment.”
This year, Fryers is staging the initiative partly on Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge, “in the hope of reaching more people.”
Fryers said that the response has been amazing and people from as far away as England, the US, and Canada have been contacting the #WarmForWinter Facebook page for advice.
“It’s been fantastic,” Fryers said.
On December 6, Neil said: “I walked by the bridge today and was delighted to see it full of jackets.
"One thing that really stood out for me was there were children’s coats hung up as well. At least people will realize the sad truth that both young and old are affected by homelessness.”