This Irish startup lets you match with a nursing home resident to send them a Christmas gift

CarePack is a kindness initiative that connects you with a resident in an Irish nursing home so that you can put together a gift to send them for Christmas.

The Galway-based initiative has been connecting volunteers with nursing home residents all over Ireland since December 2020, when founder Geraldine Monaghan first posted on Facebook to seek out donations for a number of nursing home residents in her locality. Geraldine had no idea that just three weeks later she would be coordinating the delivery of over 10,000 gifts to nursing homes all over Ireland.

In order to deal with the influx of donations, Geraldine, along with the help of her friend Stephen, set up the super useful website The website allows the volunteer to log on and select a nursing home anywhere in Ireland. The volunteer will then receive an email with the first name and information of their matched recipient, so they can prepare a suitable gift box to be posted out. To make the process even easier, thanks to An Posts’ new Care Home Initiative, postage is free, provided it’s under 2kg.

Some suitable CareBox gifts include:

  • Magazines, Crossword puzzles & sudoku books
  • Playing cards
  • Knitting wool
  • Books on Irish history or Folklore
  • Soft sweets
  • CDs – Irish or Country Music
  • Chocolate that melts easily like buttons
  • Scratch cards
  • Writing Paper or Blank Cards so that Residents can write their own letters
  • Socks
  • Sleepwear or Vests (any size S to XL welcome)
  • Toiletries

The CarePack initiative has been putting smiles on the faces of thousands of nursing home residents, who could use a little cheering up during these difficult times, ensuring that no one is left out this Christmas (I’m not crying, there’s just something in my eye). Speaking to Craving Cork, founder Geraldine has mentioned that they have currently matched 18,000 residents and are hoping to get to 19,000 by Christmas, so they’re looking to get 1,000 more in the coming weeks.

If you would like to participate as a volunteer, log onto their website here and follow the instructions.

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