THE Carlow public are being encouraged to help families with sick children by supporting a bag pack in Dunnes Stores.
Cliona’s Foundation is running a ‘Packing your bags for Cliona’s’ event at the supermarket in Graiguecullen on Saturday 24 August.
Irish football legend Niall Quinn and young Keeva Delaney from Tinryland were on hand to launch the initiative recently.
Keeva’s book The dolls’ complaints has already raised more than €80,000 for Cliona’s Foundation through its sales at Dunnes Stores outlets.
Cliona’s Foundation provides financial support for non-medical costs to families with a seriously-sick child, including 11 Carlow families over the past decade.
Dunnes Stores and Cliona’s Foundation wanted to grow their relationship, so the charity decided to organise a national bag pack.
Usually, one parent will have to give up work to care full-time for their child and the non-medical costs for a family with a seriously sick child runs to €12,000 a year.
Speaking about the bag-pack fundraising event, Niall Quinn said: “Having a seriously sick child is every parent’s worst nightmare. What most people don’t realise, though, is the shocking financial burden that many of these families carry on top of immense emotional distress.”
Support for the bag pack would “help another family that’s struggling to make ends meet so they can be there for their seriously-ill child and not stressed out about finances”.
Speaking about the bag pack, co-founder of Cliona’s Brendan Ring said: “This initiative can have a powerful impact and help us make a significant inroad in tackling the scale of demand from families in dire need of assistance. We have a real need for additional volunteers to help man stores to ensure this bag-pack fundraiser realises all our expectations.”
The charity is urgently looking for bag packers in Carlow, Newbridge and Kilkenny and would ask those who can volunteer for a few hours to call/text 083 0047555 to register do so online at www.clionas.ie.
Keeva and her family will be helping out at the bag pack and encourage others to get involved, too.
The Carlow bag pack takes place on Saturday 24 August, while those in Newbridge and Kilkenny take place on 31 August.