First published: 2016-11-21 10:08:44
Some of the volunteers taking part in the Drogheda Homeless Aid Christmas Sleep-Out which takes place on December 10th pictured at the launch of the event yesterday: Back L-R Pat Cunningham, Tanya McCabe, Marion Whelan, Dave Kavanagh, Cllr Kenneth Flood, Tania Adair, Cormac Kierans, Tina Hackett, Ann White. Front L- R, Siobhan Quigley, Sandra Gough, Drogheda Lions Club; Maureen Ward, DHA; Lisa Duff, State Street, Declan Power, Barbican Centre.
Drogheda Homeless Aid’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the 24 hour Christmas Sleep-Out, takes place on December 10th and, with a record number of volunteers already committed to taking part, the omens are good for a bumper result.
Drogheda Homeless Aid (DHA) Manager, Maureen Ward, told Drogheda Life that the response to this year's Sleep-Out had been overwhelming with 35 participants signed up to experience one night on the street to raise funds for the people who, if not for DHA, would have little or no other option.
“There are a huge variety of people taking part in this year's fund-raiser” Maureen said, “they range from students, teachers and business owners to employees of multi-nationals, including State Street”.
An interesting feature of this year’s Sleep-Out is that there are several mother and daughter combinations doing it including Maureen and her daughter Ciara, Linda lane, also an employee of DHA, with her two daughters Shenice and Kim as well as Marion Whelan and her daughter Tanya McCabe.
“The first woman president of Drogheda Lion's Club, Sandra Gough, is another community leader to step up to the plate. Each person is doing it for their own reasons and some have experiences of friends or family who had been affected by homelessness and know how important organisations such as Drogheda Homeless Aid can in those situations.
Financial advisor Dave Kavanagh, who will be one of the 'sleepers' on 10th December, said he’s doing the sleep-out to raise much-needed funds to allow DHA to continue to provide their extremely important and valuable services and also "to help to shine a light on the problem of homelessness which just seems to be getting worse".
The DHA Christmas Sleep-Out has become part and parcel of Drogheda’s Christmas festivities, last year it raised in excess of €50,000 and they are hopeful of topping that figure this year.
Drogheda Homeless Aid catered for 133 homeless men during 2015 and it is envisaged that a similar number will be catered for again in 2016 as the homeless crisis continues unabated. The funding raised from the sleep out goes directly towards the provision of meals, accommodation and advice and support services for the men who have found themselves homeless.
Maureen is looking for volunteers to 'shake a bucket' in Drogheda and environs on the day of the Sleep Out. If you can spare a few hours please call Maureen on 041 983 4492 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org