Special Olympics Ireland are issuing a call for their annual Collection Day in Offaly on Friday April 20.
Offaly athletes like 17-year-old Adam Duzel and 35-year-old Lisa Dillon rely on volunteers from Offaly and around the country to help fundraise €600,000.
More than 8,500 athletes benefit from the sports training programmes and competitions provided by Special Olympics Ireland in clubs throughout the country every day. The money raised on annual Collection Day will help the charity maintain and further develop these crucial programmes.
Special Olympics are asking for 1200 volunteers from Leinster to dawn volunteer bibs, shake buckets and get involved, while 3,000 volunteers are needed across the island of Ireland to help the fundraising of the substantially important €600,000.
Volunteers are invited to get creative as fundraising can entail more than on-street bucket collections, which will be active from 7am on April 20th throughout the country. Coffee mornings, sponsored walks and any amount of fun inventive ideas are being utilised all over the Faithful County in an attempt to raise the €600,000 in 24 hours.
“Special Olympics gives every person with an intellectual disability across the country the opportunity to develop their sporting prowess alongside social and personal growth. Without the generosity of our volunteers the organisation would not be able to offer this opportunity to these inspiring people," said Annette Codd, the director of Special Olympics Leinster.
Legendary GAA commentator and long-time supporter of the charity Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh has lent his voice to the campaign. In the coming weeks he will be heard across the airwaves calling for people to take to the streets and shake a bucket on April 20.
“The people of Ireland are amongst one of the most generous in the world, so whether it’s giving your time to volunteer on the day or giving your spare change into the on-street collection buckets on April 20, it all makes a huge difference in the future of some of Ireland’s most inspiring athletes,” commented Mícheál.
Special Olympics Collection Day is once again proudly supported by eir.
“2018 is a particularly special year as Special Olympics Ireland celebrates their 40th anniversary in Ireland," said Michelle Toner, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, eir. "This charity has improved life for tens of thousands of athletes and their families throughout the decades. On April 20th our colleagues in eir will be out in force, from Belfast through to Cork, doing what we can to help raise money for Special Olympics Ireland. If you can’t volunteer you can still help by donating when you see a volunteer in one of 600 locations on Collection Day.”