Last Thursday, thousands of people up and down the country took on Concern FAST. They gave up different things – from food and coffee to tech and social media – but they shared one single goal: to raise as much money as possible for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. You can still help them achieve it!
FAST is in the air!
While you were bustling to work or on the school run last Thursday, did you notice a certain jingle in the November air? No, it wasn’t Santy’s sleigh, it was our troupes of Concern bucket collectors raising money for Concern FAST! What you mightn’t have seen that day were the thousands of others at home, work and school giving up something they love for 24 hours, and all for our 2017 FAST appeal.
“It’s important to help in any way we can”
Our fasters and FAST supporters come from all walks of life – schools, churches, offices, gyms – and this year they have been as generous with their time and effort as ever. Carmel Hayes from Donabate, was among those out shaking her bucket under the sparkling lights of Grafton Street on Thursday. It may have been bitterly cold but not for a moment did Carmel’s enthusiasm wane.
Carmel told us: “I’m supporting the Concern FAST today because I think Concern is one of the best charities around – it has been my favourite for the last few years. They work worldwide so they’re there on the ground no matter where the tragedies are.” She continued:
I think it’s important that we help in any way that we can and that’s why I’m here today.
Paula Brady from Malahide was also on hand offering her support as darkness hit Grafton Street. Her daughter, Ruth, was among the dancers from the Mary Grimes School of Irish Dancing who danced their hearts out to cheering crowds.
Concern do a lot of really great work all over the world. I want my daughter to be involved so she knows the importance of helping out others and participating in the community.
"We see the decency of ordinary people"
It wasn’t only volunteers braving the cold. Christina Meehan, a Concern fundraising executive from Swords, was also out shaking her bucket. Christina told us: "We see the people coming back year after year to support FAST, and also fresh new faces! They aren’t just giving money but also their time, their solidarity, their talents – like our brilliant Irish dancers here tonight!". Christina added:
Being out here on the streets in the cold, drives home the decency of ordinary people – stopping to chat, offer support and donate whatever they can to support communities across the world in desperate need.
Many schools and hundreds of individuals across the country took part in FAST this year. We’re always amazed by the energy and effort our fundraisers put in – for example, a team of fasters at Aer Lingus are currently topping our fundraising leader board with an amazing €2,770 and counting!
The money raised by this team and thousands of others will allow Concern to respond quickly and efficiently when emergencies – often ones we can’t predict – hit, such as the ongoing malnutrition crisis in South Sudan and the floods in Sierra Leone earlier this year.
Remember, you can still support your friends and family who fasted this year or donate to the appeal in general.