This year there were two very worthy recipients of funding from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s staff charity, HUG. The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind received a cheque for €5,000 to help with its Puppy-Raising Programme. Accepting the cheque, Corporate Partnerships Manager, John Burke, conveyed the gratitude of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind for the funding. The funding will be used to provide equipment and training of puppies to become guide dogs and assistance dogs. Puppy-raising is a full-time volunteering role for a local volunteer and typically lasts eleven to 13 months, after which the puppy returns to the Training Centre to begin its formal training. One of Irish Guide Dogs’ volunteers, Dermot Golden, came along to the presentation and brought Quinny, an adorable three-month-old puppy currently being trained within DÚn Laoghaire-Rathdown.
A second presentation of €5,000 was made to the Peter McVerry Trust and was accepted on behalf of the Trust by Nell Ward, Corporate Fundraising Manager. Currently, the Peter McVerry Trust provides over 1,600 beds each night, across its housing and homeless services. In 2018, the Trust provided support, help and accommodation to 5,841 people. Nell explained that the funding would be used to provide starter packs for people who are moving on from homelessness. A starter pack, which costs approximately €500, contains essential items such as kettle, toaster, towels, bed linen, etc. As we all know, homelessness is a major problem, not just in Dublin, but throughout the whole country. This initiative by the Peter McVerry Trust is a great boost for people starting off in their new home.
In these difficult times, the HUG fund recognises that charities are responding to an increased demand for their services while struggling with reduced funding. In 2011 the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s staff charity initiative (HUG) was set up through Workplace Partnership. The name “HUG” was chosen following suggestions from members of the fund and stands for “Hope U Give”. And the members of HUG have certainly done that! Since its inception, HUG has given out over €148,000 to various charities over the years and will continue to do so in years to come.
The concept is simple, current and retired Council staff members make voluntary contributions into the HUG fund which is then redistributed by way of donations to charitable causes nominated by its members.
It is clear that the smallest of gifts can make a huge change to the lives of others.
We make a living by what we get, however we make a life by what we give.