Never Alone With A Toblerone

Pictured Above: Jay Jay helping the homeless.

Pictured Above: Jay Jay helping the homeless.

Some NewsFour readers may be familiar with a recent article in the Herald which detailed the charitable exploits of a young man from the Ringsend/Irishtown area. The community we reside in is renowned for the generosity and selflessness of its residents, but every now and again we are exposed to a story that could thaw even the coldest of hearts!

Jay Jay Buckley, of George Reynolds House, embarked on his own personal mission around the Christmas period, using his own Communion money to spread some festive cheer to homeless people.

Jay Jay, pictured right and below, handed out giant Toblerone bars to people sleeping rough on the streets of the city, purchased from his own Communion haul. His initial plan was to give all of his money away, by giving each individual person €20 each for a hot meal and some treats. In a recent interview with NewsTalk Lunchtime, Jay Jay’s father Derek said “I thought it was a fantastic gesture.”

Derek and Jay Jay acted as a father-and-son duo and spent several hours each weekend over the Christmas period distributing the bars across the city. The original plan was to continue their initiative only up to the end of the Christmas holiday, but then they decided to extend it into February and March, given the inevitable weather downturn.

“He (Jay Jay) has a very big heart, he really does,” Derek is quoted in The Herald. “His motto is: They won’t be alone if they have a Toblerone. He said that food is energy and they should be able to get a night’s worth out of the bar.”

Jay Jay first got the idea for the initiative while making frequent journeys into the city centre and becoming dismayed at the harsh reality of such a large homeless population on the streets of Dublin.

His good-hearted deeds have garnered him plenty of attention already, and he has become an even more well-known figure than previously imagined!

“The response has been amazing,” Derek continued. “His regulars know him by name now and give him a high five. We met one guy who said he had already heard about us from his friend who we met the week before.”

Derek went on to say that people should view Jay Jay’s work with the homeless as a source of inspiration, that if an eight-year old boy can do so much for people in the most need, then perhaps others will feel emboldened to do likewise.

Jay Jay’s plan melted the hearts of the staff of Dealz on Mary Street in the city centre, who have since matched his purchase every week, providing Derek and Jay Jay with the requisite “ammunition” in their quest. All in all, Jay has given out an average of 20 bars a week.

By Craig Kinsella