This evening Wednesday, 3rd December 2014, The chq Building in Dublin’s Docklands sparkled with hope as prominent figures from business, politics, arts, media and social justice gathered for the exciting new launch of “I Believe in Christmas”. The purpose of the event is to encourage public and corporate participation for the campaign in 2015.
This new festive initiative aims to bring the true spirit of Christmas back to the capital for the month of December 2015 and ensure every child in Dublin has a quality of life and the basic right to live in a warm and safe environment.
An iconic Christmas tree representing protection, shelter and love is at the core of this new concept and the hope is that each day Dubliners can bring a gift to support Santa and those in need, enjoy traditional Christmas stories and post their letters in North Pole post office. In addition, an Irish food and craft market will also be created bringing the opportunity to support Irish goods and offer a festive retail outlet.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke discussed the serious situation of homelessness and dark reality of poverty for those in the city before he introduced a video featuring the real children of Dublin who desperately need warmth, shelter, food and a gift from Santa at Christmas. Representing ‘Inner City Helping Homeless’ the video featured Anthony Flynn who highlighted the latest figures of over 700 children and 2,500 families in Dublin currently living in emergency accommodation. Monica Rowe from Childline also stated in the video that there will be over 1,400 daily calls from children over the Christmas period.
“I believe in Christmas” aspires to be a magical month-long inclusive event that encourages all Dubliners to give, share and believe. Evoking the miracle on 34th Street, Alan Short MC urged all in attendance to consider pledging their support for “I Believe in Christmas” and make a miracle in Dublin happen for Christmas 2015.
With 386 days until the festivities in 2015, Mervyn Greene, Director, CHQ Dublin Ltd. and a leading force behind this initiative commented: “‘I believe in Christmas’ aims to make a big impact and ensure everyone in the city experiences the true spirit of Christmas. With Dublin’s most vulnerable in dire need of a Christmas miracle we decided to launch extra early to ensure potential donors and corporate partners have enough time to make this Christmas miracle a reality in 2015 and hopefully many year’s after.”
The Dublin Gospel Choir performed traditional Christmas Carols at the launch event and guests on the night included Lucy McCaffrey, Chairperson Dublin Port and Paul Clegg, Executive Manager, Dublin Docklands Development Authority and Padraic O’Kane, CEO, Corporate.ie. Other attendees showing their support on the night included Deborah Costello from St Vincent de Paul, Mark Byrne from Focus Ireland and Aisling Andrews from The ISPCC.