Dunipace woman overwhelmed after appeal for help to make packs for homeless

Wilma McLay has been collecting winter packs for the homeless and has had an amazing response.
Wilma McLay has been collecting winter packs for the homeless and has had an amazing response.

A kind-hearted Dunipace woman’s appeal to friends to help her make winter packs for the homeless has seen her being inundated with goods and offers of help.

When support worker Wilma McLay spotted an appeal on Facebook to help a Glasgow charity make packs for the homeless, she thought she’d like to help.

She set about asking people she knew if they would like to donate – but she couldn’t believe the response.

“I had intended to make up maybe four or five packs myself, but it’s just really escalated!” said Wilma (55).

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“ I was totally overwhelmed by people’s generosity – I’ve got so much now!

“And people have given really good quality stuff – I’ve got some warm jackets that are in really good condition.”

However, when someone questioned why she was helping the Glasgow-based appeal rather than local people, Wilma thought it was a fair question.

She got in touch with the local Salvation Army, to see what the situation was locally.

“I was totally unaware of all the work they are doing! There are so many people needing help,” she said.

“I went along to meet them in Falkirk and they showed me that there are definitely people who need help in the Falkirk area and they are going to help me distribute the packs.

“It was really an eye-opener to be honest!”

Wilma also got in touch with local charity SignPost, who are based in Clackmannan but work across the Forth Valley area.

They have also said they will be happy to help distribute the packs Wilma has so carefully collected.

The packs include food and water, winter clothing and shoes and some sort of bedding.

She was particularly delighted when an Irish firm, Regen Waste Management, working in the local area were so impressed with her efforts that they offered to donate 200 beanie hats.

Many donations have been made through the Facebook page Sharing is Caring Falkirk.

“They’ve been brilliant and really helped me,” she said.

“I’ve also had great support from John Kirkhope from Falkirk Council.”

Her biggest and most grateful thanks, however, goes to her “wee gem” of a husband, Euan.

“I’ve been ill for three weeks so he’s been working all day then going out in the evening and weekend to pick stuff up!” said Wilma. “He’s been such a great help!”