2021 Dublin Black Santa Sit Out Launched
Appeal off to flying start with substantial donation in lieu of cancelled Christmas parties
The 21st annual Black Santa Sit Out at St Ann’s Church in Dublin was officially launched today (Tuesday December 21) by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland and Archbishop Michael Jackson.
The sit out, which has become a firm tradition on Dawson Street, runs right up until Christmas Eve and volunteers, including Black Santa (and St Ann’s caretaker) Fred Deane, will be outside the church each day collecting for the Black Santa appeal. This year, once again, donations can be made online on the St Ann’s website at https://stann.dublin.anglican.org/ and every cent raised goes directly to the charities supported by the appeal.
Speaking outside St Ann’s, the Lord Mayor said it she was delighted to support the event. “The Black Santa Sit Out is a wonderful tradition in Dublin and it’s great, even in these difficult and challenging times of Covid, that people are still giving so generously,” she said.
Joining the Archbishop and the Lord Mayor, and the priest in charge the Revd Terry Lilburn and Fred Deane this afternoon were four students from Alexandra College choir who quietly sang ‘Silent Night’ accompanied by the harp.
A special guest at the launch was Derek Scully, Head of Corporate Affairs with Energia Group. Energia is donating a total of €20,000 to the Black Santa appeals in Dublin and Belfast in lieu of staff Christmas events. He presented €10,000 to the Dublin appeal giving the event a very welcome boost when footfall in the city centre is down.
“We are delighted to be making a donation to the Black Santa sit–out appeal this year,” he said. “This donation is made on behalf of everyone in the Energia Group and is part of a number of donations being made in lieu of staff Christmas events. Through activities across the Group, we are committed to making a positive impact in communities across the island and through the wider work supported by the sit–out appeal, this donation will help assist some of the most vulnerable in our society.”
Archbishop Jackson explained that Black Santa Sit Outs take place each year, one outside St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast and one outside St Ann’s Church in Dublin. “In this city, Black Santa is a well–established part of Christmas as Dublin gears up for Christmas. Each year the appeal gives people the opportunity to be generous. People know that the money they donate goes straight to a range of charities. At a time when many households need help, the support from Energia is most welcome,” he stated.
Arthur Vincent of St Ann’s Church thanked Energia for the donation. “This has given us a tremendous lift. We are in an interregnum situation in the parish, although we have great support, but we were thrilled when I got a phonecall from Energia saying they wanted to support our causes. We hope that other companies who have had to cancel Christmas parties for their staff this year will consider donating to Black Santa too,” he commented.
The charities supported by Black Santa include include the Salvation Army, the Simon Community and the Peter McVerry Trust, all of which work with homeless people and also Protestant Aid, Barnardo’s, St Vincent De Paul, the Laura Lynn Foundation and the Solas Project.