Many will benefit from Belvo fundraisers
Belvedere College students are engaging in a number of campaigns for Advent and Christmas 2021, to give expression to caring for others and caring for our common home. See below the list of fundraising ventures and how assist them.
Padraig Swan, Faith Development Officer for the school, says that last year, despite Covid and restrictions to normal activities, the college staff and students raised €194,000 for nine different charities. “This is just one way that we reach out to people and organisations on the margins of our world,” says Padraig, “and we ‘put flesh and bones’ on the compassion we speak about in our Vision statement.”
The students in Belvedere reach out to homeless people through the annual SleepOut, or to refugee or asylum children living in Direct Provision through the Christmas Toy Appeal that they operate in conjunction with the Irish Jesuit Refugee Service.
Individuals and families living in poverty continue to be assisted through the St Vincent de Paul group in the school, which provides hampers and voucher support at Christmas.
Children living in sub-zero conditions in Syria are helped through the school’s ‘Winter Clothing Appeal’, and prisoners in an open prison in Ireland through their ‘gifts for prisoners’ appeal. Children living with cancer benefit through the ‘Belvedere4Barretstown Christmas Attire Day’.
Padraig says they are all deeply conscious that people have limited resources, so they don’t expect people to support every every one of their campaigns. “However,” he adds, “we do want to offer a variety of different causes and invite you and your family to consider which one or ones speak most to your values and where you want to support change in people’s lives.”
“If you want to help you can plant a tree in Ireland and 10 more in Africa as a way to offset your carbon footprint,” Padraig says. “We offer our regular campaign to support the three homeless charities that Sleep Out donate to, and we invite you to consider supporting refugee children and families both in Ireland and Syria, among others.”
Click here » to view the list of campaigns the college is supporting this Advent and Christmas. Each one includes a link or QR code to donation pages to make supporting them as easy as possible.
Padraig requests that people donate what they can, where they can, within their own means and resources. “There is no obligation but know that every euro will make a difference to each campaign. Thank you in advance for whatever is possible. We will report back to you in January how we did.”
The College has established an online account with the trusted fundraising platform JustGiving. They are also partners with StrikePay, an innovative new Irish Company that has pioneered ‘Tap to Donate’ across several platforms. “These ‘cashless’ donation options,” says Padraig, “have changed how we fundraise and will be key to our success now, and in the future”.
He is quick to add however that this does not take away from the physical experience that is invaluable to the student experience and the wider Belvedere community. “When permitted to do so, that experience can never be replaced, and we will recommence these prudently as we go. Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we navigate this ‘new normal’.”