A 93 year-old woman was among those who participated in a recent GAA club fundraiser in aid of the Samaritans.
Chairman of the Eoghan Rua GAA club in Coleraine, Gerry McAleese, gave a special mention to Christina Passmore, who did a walk as part of the club's 3,000km challenge.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a detrimental impact on many charities who rely on financial support from the community to carry out their great work, McAleese pointed out.
The Samaritans are a leading mental health charity who offer support for those who are vulnerable and need assistance. With over 20,000 volunteers, it answers a call for help every six seconds and the teams work 24/7 every day of the year for those in crisis.
Last weekend, the Eoghan Rua club asked its club members and friends to take part in a challenge. The aim was to walk or run a total of 3,000 km and raise at least £3,000 for The Samaritans.
Over the weekend members and friends were asked to record their walk or run using an app and screenshot their activity for the club’s social media pages. Some members took to their wheels and cycled.
Participants were asked to forward their donation through a Just Giving page and at the time of publication, 318 people have donated a total of £5,880 which is very close to double the target amount. Every £5 raised has the power to answer a potentially lifesaving call.
McAleese was very proud of the club’s response and the amount raised, congratulating the club’s fundraising team for all their.
The chairman also appreciates that 'the biggest thanks' must go to all the participants - from under-age players to grandparents. He gave a special mention to Christina Passmore, aged 93 who did a walk to support the event.
The Chairman also thought that the event was very significant in that it highlighted the role of The Samaritans in our community.
"Starting a conversation and showing you care can be the first step to helping someone feel less isolated. During this period of uncertainty if you think someone is alone or needs help, trust your instincts and strike up a conversation," he commented.
"Perhaps we cannot see each other but it does not mean we cannot communicate. You can still show compassion and empathy through messaging apps, virtual communications, phone calls, texts or perhaps a chat from one garden to the next.
"The Coronavirus has also highlighted the role of the GAA in local communities, as many clubs throughout Ireland have supported the Governments in making their premises available or members going out into the local community delivering supplies, food or medicine as well as being on the end of a phone line for those who need assistance."
The Eoghan Rua club has been privileged to continue its community work and proud to have assisted such a fantastic organisation as The Samaritans.
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