A message in the sand at Arranmore on Saturday morning
We were asked to rise at dawn and join together while apart in the fight against suicide and self-harm.
And judging by the activity, photographs and messages on social media this morning, the people of Donegal have been doing their bit.
Today is the day when Pieta’s largest annual fundraiser, Darkness Into Light, proudly supported by Electric Ireland, was scheduled to take place across five continents.
But because of the Covid-19 restrictions, instead of a walk against suicide and self-harm, we were asked to take part in a special Sunrise Appeal - getting up at dawn to enjoy the sunrise, mark the moment and join the fight against suicide and self-harm by donating at darknessintolight.ie.
And what a spectacularly beautiful morning it is.
In many parts of Donegal, an early morning mist hung over high ground, slowly lifting. It was like a perfect message on a special day for so many.
On Arranmore Island, Denis O'Donnell, chairperson of Darkness into Light on the island, was among those to get up early and take in the splendour of the sunrise (pictured below)
If you have any photos from the Sunrise Appeal, why not send them in to us at email@example.com
Pieta are also asking people to spread the message and offer hope by sharing their sunrise moment using the #DIL2020.
To get the nation all set for the sunrise start, Friday night’s The Late Late Show supported Darkness Into Light too, helping to ensure that Pieta generated the attention and funds it needs to carry out its life-saving work. CEO of Pieta, Elaine Austin was among last night's guests.
Reminding everyone to set their alarms on Saturday morning for 5am, she said that instead of coming together in our communities physically, we will come together around the world symbolically as we all get up and head into our front rooms, gardens or balconies to sit and have a moment while watching the sun rise.
"Your participation shows solidarity and communion with those affected by suicide and self-harm. Let’s join together tomorrow and once more go together from darkness into light.”
And her message rang home - especially here in Donegal - as people of all ages got up early this morning, many running or walking a 5k, others just enjoying the moment and the beauty around them.
Darkness Into Light is the main annual source of funding for Pieta and raised almost €6 million euro last year.
Just €20 can fund two life-saving calls to those who are in crisis. People are asked to donate now and stand in solidarity together with all those impacted by suicide.
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