An Extra Plate is back for 2018.

A heartwarming community initiative is returning to the village of Ramelton this Christmas Day.

‘An Extra Plate’ gives people the chance to donate or receive Christmas dinners for free, bringing some random acts of kindness to Ramelton during the season of goodwill.

The project was launched in 2017 by Castle Street couple Anita Guidera and Don McMahan. Fifteen dinners, with all the trimmings, were collected from local homes and delivered to other people’s doors who, for whatever reason, are unable to make their own dinner.

Anita Guidera and Don McMahan

An Extra Plate is back for 2018. This year, the team are hoping to donate even more meals and are appealing for recipients to sign up.


Don told Donegal Daily: “Everything went so well last year we’re going again. People are so generous, we had way more dinners pledged than we needed.”

The offers are already flooding in from families and individuals who want to share their dinner with others. Many of the meals last year were delivered to people living alone.

Don explains: “We don’t set any criteria, we say yes to anybody. Some people need a dinner last-minute, maybe they got up on Christmas morning to find the turkey is gone off or they’ve run out of gas.

“There are churches and community groups that do great things at this time of year. There are public dinners, but some people prefer not to leave their homes, and there is a gap, so we’re happy to cater to them.”

Don, Anita, and some helpers were busy driving around Ramelton last Christmas Day and coordinating drop-offs before they had their meal later in the evening.

Don said: “It was manageable and we had everything well-planned. We have people volunteering to help in lots of ways.

“We are now looking for people to help us find recipients. We are asking people who know a neighbour who might be on their own for Christmas, and might not have a dinner for whatever reason, to encourage them to get in touch or, with their permission, to contact us on their behalf.”

Don and Anita stressed that the privacy of all those who participate will be respected. They will never turn up at anyone’s door unannounced.

They are also encouraging people all over Donegal and Ireland to adopt ‘An Extra Plate’ in their communities.

“Last year we got called from outside of our immediate area, for this to work we need to keep it local. We are inviting other people to take this idea and run with it. It’s surprisingly simple to do,” Don said.

“It was very rewarding for us on Christmas Day, it felt good.”

How to get involved with An Extra Plate – Ramelton

If you would like to receive a dinner or dinners, please message An Extra Plate – Ramelton on Facebook or send a text to 0877393140.

If you know someone you think would like a dinner, please pass on this number 087 7393140 to them, or text An Extra Plate on their behalf (with their consent!)

If you would like to offer a plate from your table, send a text to 0877393140