Little Evie’s gift of giving to the needy

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A young County Tyrone school girl has touched the hearts of many this Christmas with her selfless spirit of giving.

Little Evie Patterson was deeply moved when she became aware of the plight of the poor and homeless in Northern Ireland, and decided she wanted to help ease their distress over the festive holiday.

The Stewartstown primary two pupil set about organising a collection and used social media to reach out for support to the wider community.

Her mum, Ellen, contacted the Belfast-based charity Welcome Organisation who help people affected by homelessness.

The charity, which provides potentially life saving support to over 1,400 people affected by homelessness, requested items such as socks, hats, scarves and gloves.

Evie immediately put out an appeal on social media requesting people to donate items, with the support of her family, friends, school and community.

Her appeal touched the hearts of many in the run up to Christmas and there was a tremendous response.

Evie even hand delivered the items herself and got to see first hand where her efforts were going.

Her principal, Ms Kendra Bolton, says she is “extremely proud” of her P2 pupil.

“We were delighted to be able to assist Evie with her effort. Such a fantastic idea, especially at Christmas time. We are so proud of her thoughtfulness towards others,” she said.

“The gift of giving this Christmas time was certainly one to be proud of this year by little Evie.

“Her act of kindness will certainly go a long way.”

The collection she presented to the Welcome Organisation is already being put to good use.

The charity operates drop-in centre in Belfast, as well as a street outreach and floating support as part of its service to those in need. It operates a non-judgemental approach to homelessness and donations from the public are accepted at any time of the year.