TWO NEWTOWNBUTLER boys have embraced the spirit of the season, donating their old toys to other local children in need this Christmas.
Ten-year-old Cian and five-year-old Ronan Walmsley called into the Herald office with their mother Caroline Duignan last week, armed with a huge sack-load of beautiful toys that are to be donated to the St Vincent dePaul. Some have been pre-loved but carefully taken care of by the two boys, while others are brand new.
Caroline explained the large donation came about after Cian found out about the Fermanagh Herald Christmas Toy Appeal when he caught her reading about it on Facebook on her phone.
Explaining the appeal was about helping other boys and girls, Cian quickly gathered box of Sylvanian Families, and things escalated from there, and he started making a pile to donate.. Not one to be out done, little brother Ronan then got in on the act, making his own donation pile.
Both Cian and Ronan both attend Willowbridge School and have complex needs. Caroline said she is “very, very proud” of her boys, adding their late grandparents would be too, as are their teachers.
She said both understood there were many other children out there who don’t have much, know the importance of sharing with others.
“These are two autistic boys, and look what they can do,” she said, calling on others to follow their lead. “Reach out to other children who don’t have much. At the end of the day, we don’t know how lucky we are to even have a roof over our heads.
“We’re just asking, if we can do it, why can’t other people do it too. Reach out to other people.”
Caroline, who is originally from Dublin, said Christmas was about being there for others.
“Why not make a stranger family this year and think of them by giving something,” she said.
“I know people have their decorations up early this year too, because we need a bit of excitement in our lives, and something to look forward to.
“Think of Christmas as cheerful time, but not just of the toys under the tree, but about who is around the table for us, and who has been for us through all the year.
“We’re so grateful we’ve got great neighbours in Newtownbutler, great friends and great neighbours, and a great helper that always comes to us every morning.
“We’d be lost without friends and people in our lives because I know it’s not nice to be lonely. We need to reach out to people.”
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