Kate Herterich and Colette Farrell pictured welcoming Mary's Meals walkers to Longford in 2019. A group is arriving in Longford today, Wednesday, August 11 Picture: Shelley Corcoran
During 2020 Longford had the largest, per capita, donation to Mary’s Meals in the country which was a fantastic achievement in very bleak Covid times.
Chairperson of the Longford Branch of Mary’s Meals, Dolores Kiernan remarked, “As the country is opening up slowly, we possibly will have lots who are going back to work who are reading the Longford Leader or who can help out with the 2021 Mary’s Meals fundraising.”
Magnus McFarlane Barrow setup Mary’s Meals in 2002 after visiting Malawi during the famine that devastated that country. He commenced by feeding 200 children while they were at school at a cost of €18.30 per child per year.
Mrs Kiernan explained, “Last year we got great support from local business, building contractors, sponsorship cards, GoFundMe initiative so in 2021 can we ask each and everyone of you, please, to give as you can possibly afford, to our Mary’s Meals fundraising drive. We cannot do any bucket collection due to Covid so we are going back to do exactly what we did in 2020.”
All fundraising for Mary’s Meals goes directly to feeding school children, they get a good meal each day, at school. It is feeding children through education.
The rate has never gone up, we are still feeding a child for €18.30 per child, per year within the children’s local area.
Mrs Kiernan pointed out, “The question is often asked ‘are you sure all this fundraising is going to feed the children?’ And the answer is that 100% of all fundraising is going to feed these children who have no hope of food or education without it.”
Later today, Wednesday, August 11, everyone in Longford will have an opportunity to give funds to local Mary’s Meals Treasurer, Gabrielle Devine, who will be part of the welcoming committee to a Mary’s Meals group of about six travelling from Derry & Dublin. They are meeting in Edgeworthstown and walking to Longford, hoping to arrive at 3pm approximately to be met by the Longford Group of Mary’s Meals. Mrs Kiernan added, “We will have a little meeting on the Market Square with a bite to eat.”
Sponsorship cards will be available in shops locally and through local committee members, including Chairperson Dolores Kiernan 086 7915954, Treasurer Gabrielle Devine or Secretary Kitty Ross and all support is gratefully received.
The Longford Group of Mary’s Meals are walking each evening from St John’s Church of Ireland, up the Battery, via the bypass, back to the Mall and back to St John’s Church.
Mrs Kiernan concluded, “Everyone is welcome to walk with us. We will be walking in two’s, with distance between all two’s – you are welcome to join us on the walk.”
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