A kind Irish school girl has raised thousands of Euros for homeless people after seeing a man sitting on the street in Dublin.
Lexie Delaney, of Co Offaly, was only seven when she travelled to Dublin with her family to celebrate her mother’s birthday.
They were on Dublin’s busy Grafton street when Lexie saw the young man and wanted to help him.
Lexies’ mother Lillian told RSVP Live: “It was my birthday and we were in Grafton Street in Dublin. Lexie spotted this young lad on the ground sitting beside the bin and asked me ‘why is he sitting there?’
“I didn’t want to tell her too much because she was only seven, so I just simply said ‘he’s homeless’, but she kept asking where his mam and dad was.
“We ended up going into Burger King and she bought him food and brought it out to him.
“The whole way home in the car she was so quiet and I knew she was thinking about him.”
It was a moment that stuck with Lexie and she has spent the last four years trying to help the homeless.
Lillian continued: “About two weeks after that Lexie was lucky enough to win €300 in the Lotto and told me she wanted to buy some things for the homeless.
“A girl I know works for Inner City Helping Homeless. About once a month I would buy things like toiletries and give it to her anyway so when Lexie wanted to start donating things herself we brought it up to my friend.”
Lexie has since donated money she was given for her First Communion and held jumble sales in her front garden.
She later went to her teachers to ask if her school could help out.
Lillian said: “Her principal was only delighted to help her out. He sent a note home to all of the parents and the pupils brought in bits like socks and toothpaste, which Inner City Helping Homeless collected.”
Over the last three Christmas periods, Lexie has collected toys, sweets and selection boxes and donated them to the North Dublin Bay Housing Crisis.
She has also donated to other homeless charities including Dublin Homeless Awareness, Feed Our Homeless and the Ken Smollen Food Appeal.
Her actions have not gone unnoticed and she was invited to meet the Lord Mayor of Dublin as well as winning awards.
However, the most important thing for Lexie is helping out those less fortunate. She has become an expert in the subject of homelessness in Ireland.
Lillian said: “She knows all of the statistics, she knows there are over 10,000 people on the streets and in emergency accommodation.
“At the moment she’s in the middle of writing a letter to Michael D. Higgins to highlight all of this.”
Lillian has now set up an online fundraiser – Lexie’s homeless Appeal – to help her get Lexie’s message out to more people.
She said: “My husband hosts a harness racing weekend every August named the Vincent Delaney Memorial in memory of his brother who died aged 27.
“Every year my husband gives money raised from it to charity. This year Lexie asked could she be the charity, so we started Lexie’s Homeless Appeal.
“Over the two days the event was on she raised more than €700 just in buckets.
“A lot more people wanted to donate, so I decided to set up an online fundraiser on Facebook and over three days it raised over €1,300. So far, there’s €3,000 raised to be spent on the homeless.”
Lillian spoke about how proud she and her husband Derek are of their daughter.
She said: “People think that because Lexie is an only child that she might be spoiled, but she isn’t at all.
“She finishes one project and then gets a brainwave for another idea.
“It makes me so proud seeing how thoughtful and selfless she is. If she knows how she can put a smile on someone’s face, that makes her happy.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling