Trócaire has launched an urgent appeal for supporters in Donegal to return donations from their Trócaire boxes online or over the phone, warning that a 60% decline in donations to its Lenten Appeal has put many of its life-saving programmes at risk.
The charity’s biggest fundraising campaign has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with supporters unable to return their Trócaire boxes due to ongoing restrictions.
Trócaire’s Lenten Appeal raised €755,122.39 last year in Co. Donegal through the Dioceses of Raphoe and Derry. Two-thirds of this money comes from Trócaire boxes distributed through parishes and schools. Travel and social restrictions – including the closure of parishes and schools – means most boxes have not been returned this year.
Trócaire today warned that unless donations from the boxes are returned, it is facing a massive funding crisis that will impact directly on the 3 million people who rely on its work overseas.
Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra said: “Every year people in Co. Donegal fill their Trócaire boxes to support the world’s poorest people. But the closure of churches and schools means that support is not getting through this year.
“Thousands of boxes are sitting in homes right across Ireland and unless these generous donations are returned, we won’t be able to provide life-saving support to some of the poorest people in the world.
“We are asking our supporters in Co. Donegal to ‘make your Trócaire box count’. Please count or estimate what is in your box and donate the equivalent amount online, over the phone or via post. Many parishes have their own local arrangements in place for collecting Trócaire boxes, so people can also contact their local parish to see if it is possible to return their box within social distancing guidelines.”
In addition to its vital ongoing programmes, Trócaire is also responding to the Covid-19 crisis. The virus is present in all 20 countries where Trócaire provides support. The charity is responding by providing support in all regions, including 11 countries in Africa where over 100,000 Coronavirus cases have been confirmed.
Trócaire’s response includes providing soap, water and hand-washing stations, supporting quarantine facilities and funding expert medical care.
Caoimhe de Barra said: “The funding crisis comes at a time when we are working to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus in all 20 countries where we work. People in countries like Somalia and South Sudan are incredibly vulnerable to this virus, while lockdowns and travel restrictions have plunged millions more into extreme poverty.
“The contents of each and every Trócaire box, no matter how small, come together to make a significant difference to the lives of the people we help. We have done – and continue to do – so much to protect each other. Now it is time to protect the world’s most vulnerable.”
How to return your Trócaire box donation
Simply count or estimate what is in your box and donate now in one of these four easy ways:
Online at www.trocaire.org
Over the phone at 1850 408 408 (ROI) or 0800 912 1200 (NI)
By post to Trócaire, Freepost, Maynooth, Co. Kildare (ROI) or Trócaire, 50 King Street, Belfast, BT1 6AD (NI)
Check with your local parish if it is possible to arrange a safe drop-off.
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