Amazing display of Christmas lights by Leitrim family yields over €4,000 for NW Simon

Leitrim Observer reporter

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Leitrim Observer reporter

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Amazing display of Christmas lights by Leitrim family  yields over €4,000 for NW Simon

Pictured are Denis and Maureen O'Brien, Caoilinn Malone, Mary Mc Keon (NW Simon Community) and Leon O'Brien at the presentation of €4,128.44 from O'Brien’s Christmas Lights display at Drumshanbo

This year more than ever we all needed a little light in our lives.
Thanks to Maureen and Denis O'Brien, Drumkeelan, Drumshanbo, their glittering extravaganza of lights in their garden was amazing and very uplifting in these hard times.
The dazzling display twinkling through the darkness has brightened the Christmas season at O'Brien’s for four years now providing great delight to passers-by, young and old and also proving a testament to their kindness and generosity.
Over the four years the local community who stop to admire the winter wonderland and witness for themselves the stunning spectacular display of thousands upon thousands of lights have donated with 100% of the money donated going to very worthy causes.
This year all the funds placed in O'Briens collection box went to North West Simon Community, the local homeless charity working to prevent and resolve homelessness in Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.
€3,193.44 was donated to the box at O'Brien’s garden and a further €935 donated online, bringing the total to a fantastic €4,128.44.
Mary Mc Keon, Development Officer with North West Simon Community expressed “this could not have come at a better time, with all community fundraising events cancelled this year”.
On December 8 Charlie Mc Gettigan switched on the lights and they were lit for 30 days until January 6. The gathering may have been curtailed this year but the pandemic didn’t dull the O'Brien’s Christmas spirit. The family wish to thank everyone who stopped to donate and to Dermot Foley from Kalzen and Conor Doherty from North West Tool Hire for providing a hoist over the years.
“I wish to express my sincere thanks to the O'Brien family for their countless hours putting the lights together and doing this amazing display each year for worthy causes,” said Mary Mc Keon.
“In the first eleven months of 2020, North West Simon Community staff provided early intervention and preventative support to 174 households made up of 243 adults and 250 children at risk or experiencing homelessness in Leitrim, Sligo, and Donegal.
“The work of the local Simon Community is mainly prevention. North West Simon Community also provide long term social housing to a further 33 households in Leitrim and Donegal each year.”
“North West Simon Community rely on voluntary fundraising for up to 70% of our operating costs.
“Based on current plans, we need to raise over €450,000 from non-statutory sources to meet the likely demand for our service across the region in 2021” Mary explains.
Homelessness can happen to anyone, a late rent payment, an emergency hospital stay, or an unexpected change in employment can be enough to drastically alter a person's life.
North West Simon Community are there if anyone needs support with isolation or loneliness, advice with budgeting or household management, liaising with services, assistance with form filling for housing and advice on benefits and entitlements.
Contact details 071 9147522 or fill out a referral at www.northwestsimon.ie