A boy from Belfast in Northern Ireland impressed his parents and many others in the community by asking for donations to a local hostel instead of presents for his birthday.
Harry McAlpin made his parents proud recently and inspired many in the community by asking for donations to be made to a local hostel instead of receiving gifts for his upcoming 12th birthday.
This generous act has inspired many others and was warmly received by the East Belfast Mission to use it for the Hosford Homeless Project.
Harry McAlpin – a remarkably generous young man
When asked about his decision to request donations be made to the local hostel instead of receiving gifts for himself on his birthday, Harry said it would be a great idea to get everyone attending his party to create a supply pack for the hostel.
He said, “When it comes round to Christmas or my birthday each year, I always find myself thinking about what things I might actually want as a present because thankfully I have a very good life and there is not really anything that I really need.
“So I thought that it would be a good idea to ask people coming to my party this year to do something to help the Hosford Hostel instead of bringing presents that could end up sitting in the corner.
“All of my friends thought that it was a great idea and have said that it is something that they would do in the future too.
“In the end, we managed to collect 26 packages full of toiletries and towels, and I hope that they will be able to help everyone who needs the support at the hostel”.
Homelessness in Ireland – a serious and ongoing issue for many people
Homelessness in Ireland continues to be a serious and ongoing issue for many people. As of May 2023, it was said that there were approximately 12,441 people who were seeking to access emergency accommodation in Ireland.
Many causes have been cited for the increase in homelessness in Ireland, such as lack of social and affordable housing, income poverty, unemployment, discrimination and issues in the private rental market.
The Hosford Homeless Project – run by the East Belfast Mission
Brian Anderson from the East Belfast Mission explained that Harry’s generous act was hugely appreciated and that all the people there were impressed by his kindness.
He said, “Harry is a wee inspiration, and you could tell how passionate he was about helping people when he came to the mission to drop off his donations.
“He knew exactly why he wanted to do it, and we had a great conversation about his drive for helping others. You couldn’t help but be impressed by him, and I understand why others would rally around and support him.
“The donations will be very helpful for everyone here at the hostel, particularly as they have thought of some of the small details that can go a long way in helping people that are sometimes forgotten about, such as new toothbrushes and toothpaste.
“We would just like to say a big thank you to Harry and his friends for all of their support”.