The people who donate and help are the stars, says Siobhan Boyle McNelis

A 40ft truck is on its way to Belarus packed with much-needed supplies for orphanages thanks to a generous community fundraiser organised by Portnoo woman Siobhan Boyle McNelis.

Chernobyl Children International (CCI) lorry in Portnoo collecting donations for Belarus

Siobhan has led collections for various charities over the past 28 years, but she is keen to give everyone else the credit.

A lorry from the Chernobyl Children’s Project was in Donegal last Saturday to pick up 2,500 bags of clothes, 5,000 nappies and vital medical items such as wheelchairs for young people in care in Belarus.

Since January 1st, Siobhan has organised collections and sorted donations in her home. All the goods will be used to support children living in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear disaster.

Donations for Chernobyl Children International (CCI) collected at Siobhan’s house

Siobhan has issued a big thank you to everyone who donated over the past seven weeks and everyone who helped load the arctic truck last weekend.

Siobhan tells DW about her passion for helping others: “I saw an article about Bosnia in 1991 and thought to myself this is so sad so I really need to help these people. So 3 van loads later was sent there. 

“I did that for few years and then saw the plight of people in Romania so collected for Hope International for around 18 years. 

“When things started to improve in Romania my focus was then on Chernobyl and doing it up to now and hope for many years to come. 

“This was my 28th year for charity. I’d like to thank everyone who donated year on year to my appeals and to the community spirit here in Portnoo who help load the arctic truck every year. 

“Without all the above people I couldn’t do it. To me, they are the stars.”

Well done Siobhan!