National Giving Week – November 2013

1% Difference Campaign is celebrating National Giving Week in Ireland for the week of the 11th to the 17th of November.

The week where the 1% difference campaign is putting a focus on the value of the not for profit sector in Ireland. The aim of the week is to demonstrate the importance of giving and philanthropy to the future development of Irish society.

Respond is delighted to be part of the 1% campaign:

As part of the campaign, Respond have decided to profile a volunteer from each of our three regions. During National Giving week, we would like to recognise the fact that all of our volunteers are giving a lot more than 1% of their time each week, doing fantastic work in their community.

Sandra Lakaciauskaite, Cashel, Co Tipperary
Sandra is a resident of Respond Castlegreen Crescent, Cashel for many years. Sandra has a genuine desire and passion for community development involvement and Respond are very fortunate that Sandra undertook a voluntary placement identifying, planning, organising and running of a wide range of community activities for residents with such enthusiasm and commitment .

Sandra recently completed a Bachelor of Arts Social and Community Studies and not only obtained a first class honours, she was also awarded the South Tipperary local community development award for a student who over the course of their study, has demonstrated personal skills and commitment to social inclusion – Sandra’s dissertation explored community participation across a number of Respond estates. One of many lessons Sandra wanted to share is that ‘lots of persistence and belief in your work is needed to make Community Development work’

Sandra is inspirational, and four other adults from Castlegreen Crescent estate have now also gone on to pursue third level education

Cathal Mc Cole, Dungloe, Co Donegal
Cathal would be regarded by all his neighbouring residents as the “cornerstone of Fairhill lodge”  Cathal has always taken a keen interest in volunteering and has taken the lead in organising the upkeep of the surrounds of Fairhill Lodge.  Developing the gardens and a vegetable patch and having applied successfully received a grant from Grow It Yourself Ireland to purchase a Greenhouse., Cathal doesn’t stay still for too long. Cathal maintains that this whilst volunteering is important its all about pride in our homes and where we live.

            “…it costs nothing to be nice and neighbourly and to take some pride and joy in where we live…”

Cathal and neighbours cut the lawns, prune the plants, cultivate the vegetable and fruit, paint the fences, plat flowers, liaise with local Tidy Towns and when all that is done, he’s making sure the shed is tidy and surrounds are left in pristine condition. Cathal doesn’t go 1% he goes 110%.

Kevin O Farrell, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan
Kevin is one of the original residents that moved into the Respond estate in Carrickmacross in 2006. We are very fortunate that Kevin has made himself available as a volunteer, for any event that had been organised on the estate and was elected as one of original members on the residents committee. Kevin has been pivotal in the development of environmental projects on the estate and this has culminated in a diverse selection of projects. He also actively supports the running of Bingo in the Community Building on a weekly basis and the annual children’s Christmas party. Kevin has actively participated in a number of educational/training programmes both on and off the estate. He has recently completed a first class honours degree in community and youth work and is currently putting this to good use as a volunteer tutor on a Respond delivered FETAC healthcare course for local residents. Kevin is currently undertaking  a Masters degree in Rights and Social Policy in NUI Maynooth and we wish him well in his studies. Kevin is a geat example of volunteering at its very best.

We are very humble and grateful to all our volunteers nationally who amount to approximately 500 dedicated individuals who give of their time every single day.

During National giving week we are recognising three of those individuals for the invaluable work they do within their communities and would like to express our gratitude to Sandra, Cathal and Kevin for their dedication, energy and commitment.  Thank you.

The national media are also supporting National Giving Week, examples below are:

  1. The Last Word with Matt Cooper last Thursday featuring Brent Pope talking about the 1% Difference. Brent has been a fantastic ambassador and was part of the team for our photocall to launch National Giving Week last week.
  2. The Late Lunch on TV3,  last  Friday where the wonderful Clodagh McKenna talks about the 1% Difference campaign and talks very well about making a #1DIFF
  3. The Irish Times have challenged 4 of their journalists to make their 1% difference throughout the week – All four journalists will report back in Saturdays paper on how they got on!
  4. The Irish Daily Mail all week are featuring celebrities all week doing their 1% – Rob Kearney talks today about how being injured allowed him  the time to help change people’s lives
  5. RTEs Today programme each day this week is featuring the 1% Difference campaign, today they are featuring Alan Curran a secondary school teacher in St Mac Daras Community College in Templeogue who drives his school to support Trocaire getting the children to embrace volunteering and fundraising at an early age.