Irish Examiner view: Spirit of giving warms the soul

Charity donations from 'Late Late Toy Show' shows evidence of huge generosity in society
Irish Examiner view: Spirit of giving warms the soul

Ryan Tubridy pictured performing 'Let It Snow" with Spotlight Stage School performers during The Late Late Toy Show. Picture Andres Poveda

Those watching last Friday evening’s Late Late Toy Show were not just sitting on the couch in their pyjamas and picking out their preferred presents for December 25. At the time of publication, a staggering €3.5m had been raised through donations to the programme’s charity appeal, evidence of the huge generosity in society.

If further evidence of that generosity were needed, this week the Charity Regulator published the results of a recent survey stating that 86% of adults will definitely or probably make a charitable donation of money, time, or goods during December.

Drilling into the detail makes for fascinating reading — the survey found that men represented 62% of participants who don’t intend to make a charitable donation over Christmas, while women made up 38% of this group (it also found that 57% of women are committed charity donors compared to 43% of males).

It’s heartening to see that the spirit of giving remains strong in our society — no matter the gender — and particularly at this point in time. Between the fallout from the war in Ukraine, the rise in the cost of living, and the accommodation crisis, there are plenty of challenges facing households all over Ireland.

The fact that almost nine adults in 10 plan to contribute to a charity is good news for those being helped by those charities, obviously, but it also points to a sense of community within the country as a whole.

It suggests that most Irish people feel bound by a sense of involvement in society and by a desire to help those in need — by a togetherness that cannot be created artificially, but which is generated organically over the generations.

At a point in time when the social contract seems to be under pressure from every angle, there is a consolation in that sense of togetherness.

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