THE organiser of the uniform pop-up shop in Castlefinn believes the initiative should be replicated across the county due to the great demand for back to school support.
The Castlefinn Uniform Swap Shop, a pop-up school uniform exchange, was held in the Mary’s Hall, Castlefinn on Sunday and a queue formed outside the door before the event started.
The event was such a success, the organisers re-opened the doors on Monday night to give parents another chance to grab a uniform.
The swap shop received donations of uniforms from over 20 schools from right across east Donegal, and parents from other areas were enquiring to see if any of the uniforms they needed had been donated.
One of the organisers, St Vincent de Paul Branch President Noeleen Killen said she believes the swap shop should be replicated in other areas of the county.
“This is definitely something can could be replicated in other areas of the county. We came up with the idea but it could be done in other areas of the county and beyond because the demand is definitely there and people were more than happy with the stuff that they got.
“We were getting calls from parents from other areas of the county to see if we had any of the uniforms that they needed so there is definitely a need for this kind of project,” said Ms Killen.
The pop-up shop aimed to assist parents with back to schools costs and the pressures this can bring to a household. Ms Kileen said it was great to be able to lend a helping hand to families in the community.
“It was good to see everyone going out happy with what they had got and to know that the project had helped with the back to schools costs was great,” said Ms Killen.
The pop-up shop received hundreds of donations with the majority of items in perfect condition and even brand new.
Ms Killen paid tribute to the support the initiative received from the Castlefinn community and beyond.
“The community really got on board with this and the donations we received were absolutely fantastic.
“We also had a donation box for Saint Vincent De Paul on the day and there was a great response to it so we are extremely grateful for that,” she said.
“We got so many uniforms from a vast amount of schools and every one of those uniforms represents a family or a child that supported the swap shop and we are so pleased with it.
“We are also grateful to Nena Models for the rails and hangers and the members of the local Saint Vincent De Paul and volunteers from the community who were fantastic during the lead up to the event and also on the day.
“We had people making tea, people who donated refreshments and Paul Brennan and Darragh Doherty provided music, while Cllr Gary Doherty who helped come up with the event was also a great support.
“We could not have done any of this without the volunteers and the people who supported the event,” said Ms Killen.