Caroline O’Halloran from Ballyfermot in Dublin is taking part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon for the homeless and housing charity Peter McVerry Trust.
I got involved with the Peter McVerry Trust about four years ago. I noticed people making care packs around Christmas time for the homeless out on the street and I started doing that in my job. I work in the DMC main sorting office for An Post. My colleagues’ donations made so many care packs, with blankets, socks, runners and things like that. They’re always donating and they’re so generous. That first year, I think there were 300 care packages made up and sent to the Peter McVerry Trust.
I’ve been doing that for a few years and now it has become an everyday thing. People drop off bags clothes to me and I pass them on to Peter McVerry Trust. I work with the homeless now in Ballyfermot where I’m from. Homelessness is becoming an epidemic, it’s not only in town now. It used to be just the city centre but it’s not like that anymore, it’s everywhere. There’s three people listed as homeless in Ballyfermot - and that’s only listed; there’d be other people ashamed to say they were homeless. I’m sure there’s many more.
The homeless problem is only getting bigger and people’s donations are what make the Peter McVerry Trust tick. Peter is a saint. The charity gets no funding whatsoever. He’d never turn anyone away from that door. He doesn’t look for any recognition and the work he does behind the scenes is unreal, work that people don’t even know about. I know a lot of people who’ve gone there and been fed, or gotten clothes. He’s dealing with addicts and alcoholics - he’d never turn anyone away from the door.
I’ve done the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon twice before and am doing it again this year. I usually only walk it but I’ve lost nine stone, and this year it’s on my ‘bucket list’ to run the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon so I’m training and am going to jog it! My friends Christina and Roz are doing it with me as well, and they’re doing it for Peter McVerry Trust too It’s a charity very close to their hearts.
The VHI Women’s Mini Marathon is always such a fun day. Usually I just go in for the buzz of the day but now this year since I’m jogging I’ll probably be a bit competitive trying to get it done! The atmosphere is great, and we always have great craic with the Dublin fire brigade teams who hose you down (we wind the firemen up something terrible!). Seeing people helping each other out and the atmosphere is unreal, I can’t wait.