21 December 2015
By Elaine Murphy
SHARE (Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly), the organisation for the care of Cork’s older people, launched its traditional fast and fundraising campaign at the SHARE Crib, Daunt’s Square, Cork, (near Grand Parade) on the wet and windy evening last week.
It’s the 46th year in which almost 1,800 fourth and fifth-year students from 21 Cork schools rally round yet again to raise funds for SHARE. This is the only fundraising campaign the organisation undertakes throughout the year, running in the city centre right up to and including Christmas Eve.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Chris O’ Leary, together with Bishop John Buckley and Bishop Paul Colton, joined the young students of SHARE at the ceremony at the specially erected Christmas Crib at Daunt’s Square, Cork. The Army band of the First Southern Brigade, under the baton of Captain Brian Prendergast, played a selection of traditional Christmas carols to mark the occasion and citizens of Cork turned out to share in the blessing.
Speaking on behalf of the SHARE Student Executive (a volunteer group of 56 young students tasked with steering the initiative) Chairman Tony Cusack said: ‘The Crib is the focal point of the Christmas collection and is synonymous with a Cork Christmas. We are ready and willing to get out there on the streets, no matter what the weather brings and will be doing the best we can for SHARE and the older people it supports all year long.’
Tony, who is a 5th year student from Presentation College, continued: ‘I am really proud to carry the torch for an organisation whose fantastic work has helped so many people over 46 years. Hopefully the people of Cork will continue to be fully behind us. We fundraise only once a year and whatever is raised then has to stretch to cover so many essential services for the year ahead. For those who may not be familiar with SHARE, your donation and the iconic yellow sticker that people wear proudly on their lapel enables 156 secure homes for at risk older people to be provided currently in and around the city. Your donation goes towards maintaining all of those homes and the continued safety and comfort of the individuals living in them, while making sure that they can enjoy independent living, yet feel part of the community and enjoying a strong sense of belonging within the SHARE family’.
Tony went on to say that The Brother Jerome Kelly Day Care Centre in Sheare’s Street, Cork, which is open daily for residents and members of the wider older community in the city, can cater for up to 125 older people weekly, providing a range of practical services, including meals, a laundry service, and a network of support to help them integrate into the community and meet like-minded individuals in a bright, warm place.
The 1,800 students will work hand in hand throughout the campaign, looking after one another and motivating one another as they don their bright yellow jackets and do their best for SHARE. ‘They take turns in fasting for SHARE, with a dedication that is truly admirable, and do so in a quiet and unassuming way, in the true spirit of team work, just as many of their parents and brothers and sisters have done in years gone by’ said Tony
Visit the SHARE Crib at Daunt’s Square, Cork (near Grand Parade) or visit their cribs at Mahon Point, Merchant’s Quay, Wilton, Blackpool, Bishopstown Court, Douglas Court, Douglas Village Shopping Centre and Riverview Shopping Centre in Bandon.
Alternatively, donations can be posted or delivered in person to SHARE, The Brother Jerome Kelly Day Care Centre, Sheare’s Street, Cork where acknowledgements will be issued immediately.