Castlemartyr School Discovers The Real Meaning Of Christmas

By Seamus Whelehan

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An East Cork school is teaching their pupils the real meaning of Christmas by starting a Charity fundraising tradition.

This year the students of Scoil Iósaf Castlemartyr have been encouraged to donate to a local Charity, or create a handmade card instead of giving thank you presents to the teaching staff.

Eileen Kelly McCarthy, Chairperson of the Parents Association, said parents are already under enough pressure with Christmas.

“Children are losing their way because of adults, it’s like throwing cash at them and they are not realising what’s going on around them.”

“It’s nearly standard that a gift is given to the teacher.  It’s no longer a little chocolate bunny or a teacher mug.  It’s becoming a competition through no fault of the children, it’s through the adults.”

The unique idea was presented to the students to show how fortunate they are compared to others in the community.

This year all donations will be handed over to the East Cork Food Appeal to help the area’s needy, with all cash donations converted into food vouchers.

“Christmas is not about what you get, it’s about being aware of those around you, looking out to help people when you can help”

A trolley was placed outside the Principal’s Office on Monday and filled with non-perishable food items and toiletries for needy families over the past few days.

A second donation box was placed in the Greengrocers run by Dorothy and Sean Walsh on Main Street Castlemartyr.

Ms Kelly McCarthy said by using a local Charity the children get a better understanding.

“It’s about trying to make the children aware what’s going on in a child friendly manner. It’s not about traumatising them or showing them all the badness in the world. It’s showing them this is it, but you can help, even if it is just locally and even if it is the smallest thing, this does help people.”

To thank the 269 children for their good deed Santa arrived at the school on his sleigh yesterday having taken some time out of his busy schedule preparing for his visit late next Tuesday night.

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