For the tenth year running, HSE staff in Mayo have launched the annual Bronntanas Appeal in the run-up to Christmas.
Bronntanas is a group of HSE staff, their families, and friends who along with volunteers from voluntary organisations come together in the weeks before Christmas to organise the giving of presents anonymously to children in families who are under financial strain.
This is carried out under the guidance of the Health Service Executive Childcare Department in Mayo.
Noreen Heston, HSE Mayo and one of the organisers of the Bronntanas appeal, says: “Unfortunately, in this difficult economic climate many families in our community are under severe financial strain in the lead up to Christmas.
“At a time when parents should be able to relax and enjoy the build-up to the festive season, many are extremely anxious that their children may be disappointed on Christmas morning. But with the help of this appeal, we were able to provide gifts for 340 children/families last year and this year we are hoping that people will show the same kindness and generosity.”
Under the Bronntanas appeal, each volunteer is given the initials of a child, their age, whether they are a boy or girl, and what they would like for Christmas. The suitability of the present for the particular child is more important than the actual amount spent on the present.
In fact, there is a cap of €25 – €30 to be spent on gifts so that all the children are treated equally.
The success of this Bronntanas appeal is a great testament to the generosity and thoughtfulness of people throughout Mayo, especially in such difficult economic times. Volunteers have worked very hard over the past number of years to ensure that children in Mayo and their families have the opportunity to enjoy the festive season.