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  • Northside East

A toy story to warm the heart

Friday, 30th November, 2018 8:00am
A toy story to warm the heart

Kay Purdy, Theresa Kelly and Linda McDonnell in the shop at Edenmore Shopping Centre. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

A toy story to warm the heart

Kay Purdy, Theresa Kelly and Linda McDonnell in the shop at Edenmore Shopping Centre. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Callum Lavery

A NORTHSIDE woman has opened a toy shop that aims to help families struggling this Christmas.

Edenmore resident Theresa Kelly is helping to lessen the burden on families at this most expensive time of year. 

Theresa runs the shop at Edenmore Shopping Centre alongside her team, Kay, Linda, Jean and Claire. Their aim is to guarantee that every child will have a magical time this Christmas and a day they will always remember. 

The shop is currently looking for new or nearly new unwanted toys from members of the public. These toys will be offered for a small donation, with all the proceeds going to charities including Brother Kevin’s Kitchen, Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) and St Francis Hospice, Raheny. 

This is not the first time Theresa has helped out in her local community. She opened a similar shop for families struggling to provide clothes for their children’s First Holy Communion earlier this year. 

“In February this year we opened a communion shop and we were able to dress 50 families free of charge,” Theresa told Northside People. 

“As we were coming through this year, I was saying: well look, one of my children has five sons and I could see that she was trying to put money (by) every week and you could see the girls in the shop every week, and I said well surely if a communion shop could work then a toy shop could work too.”

The shop has been a resounding success so far and Theresa notices that it is not only parents benefitting from the store. 

“We discovered that the elderly people love coming in as well as they can buy stuff for their grandchildren that they couldn’t have been able to buy before,” she says. 

All profits from the store are being donated to charities close to Theresa’s heart. 

“The reason I chose those charities is because in the Hospice in Raheny, a lot of people from Edenmore have died from cancer, and it’s always the Hospice that is there on hand to help. So we decided to give something back to them,” says Theresa. 

“Brother Kevin is a saint in my eyes. If you ever go into the Capuchin Day Centre, you can see the way he treats the families and people that go in, they get, breakfast, dinner and tea everyday. He needs money to survive, so we give him money.”

“Finally, ICHH have a mobile outreach. They go out onto the streets at 10 in the night, but they don’t just deal with people that sit at doorways, they go into the parks. 

“You have no idea where you will find the hidden homeless, and I have a great admiration for them (ICHH), they might not finish until four in the morning,

“To me, they are a very good charity that actually needs all the help they can get, because they are not funded by the Government.” 

Theresa is humble about her charity work, saying that she feels lucky and wants to give back and thoroughly enjoys doing so. 

“I was just lucky as a kid growing up,” she says. “I had great parents. I have a great family that supports me in everything I do. It’s great. The craic is 90, we love chatting to the people coming in (to the shop).”

Theresa says Diarmuid McHugh, who owns the Centra in Edenmore Shopping Centre, has been a great help, giving her the space for free and paying for the store’s heating and electricity.

Theresa is inviting all those in the area to visit the store. They will be holding a tree lighting ceremony on December 2 and Santa will be in house to give toys to all the children up until the week before Christmas. 

•The store at is open from 12noon to 5pm, Wednesday to Saturday, and all donations and toys will be greatly appreciated.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here