We are absolutely delighted to announce Gena Heraty Haiti Fund as our charity partner this year.
Gena Heraty, from Westport, is a member of the Catholic lay missionary association, Viatores Christi. She went to Haiti in 1993 and has remained there ever since as a volunteer with NPH (Our Little Brothers and Sisters) – an orphanage in the hillside village of Kenscoff, 10 km from Port-au-Prince.
Throughout her time in Haiti, she has worked to develop the Special Needs Programme, providing new opportunities for about 30 children and young people. She has also developed an outreach programme to provide medical, rehabilitation and educational support for over 100 families in the community where children have severe physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
Gena’s work is strongly supported by the people of Westport and Mayo generally via fundraisers and donations and by Misean Cara, an Irish Development Funding Agency. She visits her family each year and provides an update to supporters and through local media on progress and how donated funds are spent.
Our 2017 charity partner was Make-A-Wish. Their aim is to grant the wishes of children aged between 3 and 17 years who are living with life-threatening medical conditions, enriching the human experience with hope, strength and joy. A wish granted is true magic for the child, providing respite from their normal routine of hospitals, doctors and treatment. Since inception in 1992 over 2,000 wishes have been granted in Ireland. Make-A-Wish believes a wish can have a lasting impact on a child's life. A wish can create moments of joy – and memories that last a life-time. Make-A-Wish receives no government funding and depends on the generosity of the general public to continue granting wishes. Make-A-Wish is signed up to the Triple Lock for Charities which includes the Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charitable Sector in Ireland; SORP, the Statement of Recommended Practice, Accounting and Reporting by Charities; and the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising.
The John Giles Foundations aim is to facilitate positive social change by using the power of football to build community cohesion, promote health, and encourage lifelong participation and learning. It will drive fundraising initiatives that will help football clubs, schools, and community groups to raise funds for themselves and for other worthwhile local projects.
There are approximately 6000 people with Down syndrome currently living in Ireland. The Down Syndrome Centre organisation was founded by Peter and Mary Gaw, parents of four children whose two youngest have Down syndrome. The idea for a centre which would provide vital early-intervention services for children with Down syndrome came about as a result of the difficulties and issues that Peter and Mary faced when trying to access these services for their own children.The centre provides all the relevant services, facilities and support relevant to this intellectual learning disability.
Over the past 3 years we were absolutely delighted to have donated the following to charities:
€33,000 to Johnny Giles Foundation & Down Syndrome Centre, which is a new service led centre for children with Down syndrome. The centre provides all the relevant services, facilities and support relevant to this intellectual learning disability.
€22,000 to Johnny Giles Foundation & Down Syndrome Ireland
€9,000 to LARCC (Lakelands Area Retreat & Cancer Centre) which is Ireland’s only residential cancer centre providing support and holistic assistance to those living with cancer.