Galway woman’s kind nursing home initiative receives outpouring support

How a Facebook post seeking donations for local nursing homes became a nationwide project.

The luxury about feel good stories is that they have no expiration date within the news. So when we first heard about this story yesterday, even though it occurred over Christmas, it was too good not to spread the word of how one woman ended up co-ordinating the delivery of 10,000 presents to nursing homes across Ireland.

Like all good modern day stories, it started with a Facebook post. Geraldine Monaghan of Caherlistrane posted on Facebook seeking donations for a number of nursing homes within her vicinity. The idea had been prompted by An Post’s initiative which allowed free post and small packages to be delivered to Nursing Homes for free until the end of January.

With us all in a lockdown at the start of December, access to Nursing Homes to see loved ones had been heavily restricted, An Post gave people the opportunity to send in post/gifts to loved ones for free. The difference in this case is Geraldine did not even have anybody related to her in any care facilities. Her initiative was being done out of the kindness of her heart. She felt compelled to send something to care facilities in recognition of the tough year residents and staff had endured.

According to Geraldine, she put up a Facebook post asking people to contact her if they wanted to send something into any care facilities. The simple idea went viral and was shared 900 times and got over 1,000 likes (if only our social media guy could replicate such a feat).

The response was massive. Countless messages were sent to Geraldine, so much so, that she required extra help and her friend Stephen Griffin was brought on board to assist. From there a website was born

It enabled people to choose out of hundreds of nursing homes across the island and send a care package. Some 10,000 presents have been sent from the website over the Christmas period.

A truly wonderful Christmas time story and shows that even in our darkest days, people like Geraldine offer hope to us all that kindness will never cease to exist.

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