Take your cue from four-year-old Syrian girl Serene who has donated her teddy to refugee children living in Ireland as part of the Irish Red Cross Toy Drive.
Are you doing a spring clean this February? Are you dusting, polishing and decluttering? If you have unwanted and unloved toys taking up space in your home, why not give them to children who don’t have any toys to play with?
This is exactly what four-year-old Serene did when she donated her beloved Teddy Bootsy to the Irish Red Cross so that he might help another Syrian child feel at home in Ireland, just like he helped her settle in after travelling here from Syria.
Accompanied by her aunty, human rights activist Razan Ibraheem, Serene arrived at Irish Red Cross HQ today to hand-deliver her treasured teddy. Serene has been living in Ireland during the conflict in Syria with her family. Bootsy has been of particular comfort helping Serene to settle into her crèche and new home.
“I want to give Bootsy to kids who need him,” says Serene before adding “sharing is caring".
Syrian families are currently arriving into Dublin Airport on two flights every month. From there, they travel to Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres (EROCs) such as Mosney and Ballaghaderreen. 40% of those who arrive are children aged 0-16 years and they often have no toys to play with to keep them entertained in the reception centres.
The Irish Red Cross greets the new arrivals at the airport, provides transport for them to the reception centre, and supplies them with hygiene and baby kits. Toys are included in some of these kits but the Irish Red Cross has not been able to source enough toys for all of the children. This is where Serene has stepped in, and you can too.
Toy donations should be sent to Irish Red Cross, 16 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Ideally, toys should be new or nearly new, small, clean, and not battery operated. Examples of suitable toys are small teddies, puzzles, crayons and colouring books.
We are no longer accepting toy donations.