A group of primary school teachers Tara O’Sullivan, Kyna Rushe & Jana Lyons have raised over €5,000 for families in need. Through their efforts and the support of socially minded companies, charity One Family, was able to directly support vulnerable families with food, back to school hampers and children’s activity packs during the COVID lockdown and as schools reopened.
The story began in February, when One Family were contacted by Tara O’Sullivan who wanted to do something to help vulnerable children and families; Tara had seen how poverty was affecting young children in her school particularly those in one-parent families. With her colleagues, she came up with an idea to raise funds to make back-to-school hampers for families in need. The teachers started their efforts with a table quiz and raised over €4,000 for the packs. Then Covid hit; the decision was quickly made to use the funds straight away to help those most in need. Food poverty had quickly became an issue for many one-parent families as schools closed, children were at home full time and shops introduced restricted access for children so it was decided to use the funds raised to help families immediately with food coupons/toys and supports.
One Family had like most organisations moved their services on-line during lockdown but staff still braved the virus, while sticking to regulations, by providing outreach support to local families. One Family’s Parenting Team made calls to homes delivering practical support in the way of Lidl vouchers, shopping and a listening ear. Many parents were struggling to cope; the isolation and loneliness was extreme; dealing with the unknown and helping children manage anxiety with little or no support was overwhelming for many.
On top of the outreach work, One Family, with the support and generosity of Rothco, were able to support 50 children with summer activity packs. As lockdown was in place, families needed support to cope with the challenge of parenting 24/7 in often very small confined spaces, with little or no family support. The activity packs brought a lease of life with games for indoors for all the family followed later with summer packs. The packs included scooters, ball games, hula hoops, bubbles, tennis rackets, balls and so much more as we tried to support families to get on board with the government initiative of Play Day in early summer. Children at this stage needed to find safety in coming back out into the parks and playgrounds and the summer activity packs really helped this happen for so many families.
The funds the teachers had raised in February were going quite quickly on vouchers, so they decided to set up a GoFundMe page called ‘Feeding Children During Covid’. By the time the country began to emerge from lockdown, they had purchased ,€4,000 worth of Lidl vouchers for needy families. Then, One Family asked if they could go back to our original plan and make back-to-school hampers. The charity was anxious for us to make these hampers by July, as they were concerned that families would be worrying over the summer about how they could afford the back-to-school costs.
Tara, Kyna and Jana gained further support from companies; Lidl Ireland donated washing powder and school supply vouchers to the packs. Evans Educational donated pencils, jigsaws, erasers and zip folders, and ReCreate Ireland donated beautiful pencil cases to every hamper. Despite a shortage of stock, the store managers in Smiggle went to great lengths to source the bundles, which include a bag, lunch box and bottle, from their stores around the country. These were sold with a VIP discount and a generous donation of scented pencils. The fundraising efforts succeeded in providing 50 primary aged children with a Back to School Bundle, supporting them and their parent to have some of the essential items ready for the Autumn Winter Term of school ahead.
Geraldine Kelly, Director of Parenting at One Family said, “The families we work with are extremely grateful to Tara, Kyna and all the companies who donated funds and supplies such as Rothco. Thank you to all who supported the Go Fund Me appeal and other events Tara hosted throughout the year.
We hope to work with our Winter Appeal donors who have been very generous to us over the past twenty years to continue to support families this Christmas. If you wish to make a donation to One Family please do so through our website, your donation will help families directly provide for their children this coming autumn and winter.”
Parent Lee said, “ Thank you all for your dedicated work on the front lines and for all the work behind the scenes to ensure my family was safe and supported not only physically and emotionally, but also knowing I didn’t have to worry about where our next meal would come from or how I was going to give my son the back to school supplies he needed was frankly, such a relief.”
Get those runners ready to join the One Family team in this year’s Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon 2017!
The Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon starts at 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday, 5 June.
Find entry forms in The Herald every Wednesday and Saturday or sign up online here.
Start your fundraising for One Family here using iDonate.
Your Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon fundraising for One Family will support us as we continue to provide vital services for parents and children of one-parent families. Our services include the askonefamily helpline, counselling, supports for young people in care, play therapy, parent mentoring and mediation, social outings, and training programmes.
Let us know when you’ve registered by emailing us, and we will give you information on receiving your One Family t-shirt. It’s going to be fun!
Date/Time: Bank Holiday Monday, 5th June 2017 at 2.00pm
Start Line: Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin 2.
Finish Line: Baggot Street Upper, Dublin 2.
Entry Closing Date: 28th April 2017 or when maximum number of entries is reached.
Fee: €20.00 entry fee + €1 processing charge
We are delighted to announce that a percentage from the sale of every Santy bagel at Itsa outlets will be donated towards the work of One Family.
The Santy bagel is an onion bagel with roast turkey breast, baked ham, homemade herb stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce, mayo and butter and it’s in Itsa now. You can find Itsa stores at Dún Laoghaire, Arnotts, Sandymount, Malahide, Hugh Lane Gallery, IMMA, Sandyford, Exchequer Street, Dublin Castle, Ranelagh and Harvey Nichols Dundrum.
Thank you Itsa and thank you to everyone who buys a Santy bagel in the weeks ahead for your support. Enjoy.
Solicitors across the country will offer will consultations to the general public for a flat fee of €50. Those interested in making or updating an existing will, are also being encouraged to leave a gift to their favourite charity in their will after loved ones have been looked after. See www.mylegacy.ie for a list of participating solicitors and charities.
One Family is so grateful to The Culwick Choir and all who attended their wonderful Messiah concert in St Patrick’s Cathedral – thanks to you all we raised almost €10,000 for our askonefamily helpline 1890 662212. Hallelujah! Here is a short audio piece on the event…http://monicashamsterwheel.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/794/
Thanks so much to everyone who attended, volunteered at, helped publicise and organise – or took part in – The Culwick Choral Society’s Messiah in Dublin’s St Patrick’s Cathedral last week. We had two glorious evenings of music and song to get everyone in festive mood and we were delighted to see such a crowd on both nights, as any proceeds go to our askonefamily helpline which has been inundated with calls since the recession.
Financial Management by people Who Understand You
One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation of one-parent families, recently started providing Financial Services to others in the Community, Voluntary & Social Enterprise Sector.
‘We saw a gap in the market where we could help other organizations similar to ourselves, no matter how small, with their financial management,’ explains Karen Kiernan, One Family Director, ‘We understand their legal and organisational structures and have the necessary expertise, skills, professional qualifications and experience – whihch means we can offer support to other organizations in a flexible and tailored way.’ Read more
All this week One Family and 60 other Irish charities are working together to raise public awareness of the importance of leaving charitable bequests in your will. Don’t forget to spread the word and, if appropriate, visit your local participating solicitor to have a will drawn up and leave a legacy to your favourite charity. http://bit.ly/mWY4Eo
Messiah Performance in aid of One Family 23 & 24 November @ 8pm, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin 8. Tickets Euro 28
One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation of one-parent families, is delighted to announce that it has been chosen as the benefiting charity for this year’s performances of Handel’s Messiah by the Culwick Choral Society. With performances on 23 and 24 November at St Patrick’s Cathedral, all proceeds will go towards the *askonefamily helpline for one-parent families.
Karen Kiernan, Director of One Family says, ‘Parenting is tough work, I know. But doing it all alone can be even harder. That’s where our *askonefamily helpline comes in. We offer support to all members of one-parent families in need of help, advice, information – or simply a listening ear. We have had a 20% increase in calls since the recession and are very thankful to Culwick for giving us this opportunity to raise funds for the helpline.’ Read more
Follow us on Twitter
Trading as One Family, Cherish CLG is a company limited by guarantee not having a share capital, registered in Dublin, Ireland with registered office at 8 Coke Lane, Dublin 7 and registered Company Number 45364. One Family is also a charity (Charity Regulatory Authority No. 20012212 and Charity No. 6525).
Directors of One Family: Helen Hall, Sinéad Gibney, Jennifer Good, Nuala Haughey, John-Mark McCafferty, Eimear Fisher, Edel Fagan and Jack Eustace.