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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020

Want to help the homeless? 6 ways to join Ireland's Great Get Together

There are 3,200 homeless children in Ireland right now and Focus Ireland needs your help.

IF YOU HAD to put a figure on the number of homeless children in Ireland, what would you think it would amount to? A few hundred, maybe?

The unfortunate reality that in less than the first two months of this year, 188 children became homeless, making the total a worrying 3,200 children across the country.

These kids are part of 1,517 families staying in emergency accommodation at the start of the year, a rise of 109 families from December to January alone.

Just last month, one homeless mother told TheJournal.ie about the conditions she faced with her two sons in a Dublin hotel room facing bed bugs and ‘filthy’ conditions.

It’s no surprise that homeless families around the country really need our help. To support them, Focus Ireland (supported by Bord Gáis Energy) are inviting people to host their own Ireland’s Great Get Together to raise money for them, from April 20th – 22nd.

Here are some very enjoyable things you can organise this month to do with your family, friends and colleagues to help support the families that need it most right now.

1. Plan a hike in a beautiful location

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Not only will the exercise, fresh air and breathtaking views do your own group the power of good, by getting everyone to bring along a tenner with them, you’ll also be helping Irish families in need.

Need some inspiration? Here’s a few lovely walks you can drive to from Dublin, walks in the woods around Ireland and even some hiking and biking trails for those who want to get the adrenaline pumping.

2. Organise a work five-a-side

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Haven’t played a team sport since secondary school? That’s quite alright – when it’s for charity your foot skills don’t matter a tap. Why not float the idea of a five-a-side soccer or Gaelic football game with your team at work, and charge people a donation to Focus Ireland?

Not sure where you can play? If your local park is a little far, here’s a list of YMCA indoor and outdoor venues you can rent in Dublin, along with an extensive list of pitches you can rent around the country here.

3. Host a clothes swap with your pals

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Not only can ‘fast fashion’ have a serious impact on the environment, animal welfare and human rights, it’s also not always sustainable to our homes or our pockets to continually buy new items whenever we need them. So, why not take style from the people we love?

Find beloved new items instead from friends and siblings whose clothes would otherwise be donated to strangers in a charity shop (or worse, go in the bin). Simply ask for a set donation to come along and let the statement piece-hunting begin. Easy.

4. Sell your own creations

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Although you may not think of it initially, we all harbour creative skills that can make something beautiful for someone we love, helping the homeless in the process. Not only will it be enjoyable for you, your loved ones will come away with a homemade gift.

Need ideas? Why not offer to take pictures of babies or pets, draw fun portraits, offer to do beauty treatments or an even simpler one, make their favourite types of cake? By charging for each you can raise a lot of money for Focus Ireland, while doing something nice for your friends and family.

5. Suggest a themed dinner party

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Whether it’s a Come Dine With Me-style disaster or a Michelin-worthy tasting menu, there’s nothing more enjoyable then sharing a homemade meal with the people you love, placing a donation box in the middle of the table.

Make it even more fun by encouraging people to dress up and theming the music and food. Winner themes include superheroes, Eurovision, Mexican and All-American (takeaway and leisure wear is also a valid theme, don’t worry).

6. Organise a quiz night (anywhere)

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Although organising a quiz night can seem like a big ask, there’s no need to rent a venue or arrange a reluctant MC – you can literally do an informal hen party-style quiz about well, anything. And there’s absolutely no need to leave your couch.

Why not arrange a quiz based on a shared love of something like Game of Thrones, GAA, nineties movies or even little-known facts about the people included? You can do this in the office or at home – all you need to do is source a few questions, a prize and set a donation fee for Focus Ireland.

Sound like something you’d like to do? Ireland’s Great Get Together is supported by Bord Gáis and they’re inviting people to host a get together this year from April 20th – 22nd. As part of an ongoing partnership until 2021, the campaign has already helped to support some 5.182 families in need across Ireland.

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Sponsored by:

Bord Gáis Energy

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