Leitrim to the fore in helping Irish in New York

County senior players doing a 5km/10km run, cycle, walk this Saturday to help raise funds

Leitrim Observer reporter

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Leitrim to the fore in helping Irish in New York

Seamus and Caitriona Clarke

Sláinte 2020 launched its fundraising website on April 16 to harness the collective reach of well-known and long-standing Irish organisations to maximize fundraising to assist individuals and families adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

The partnership consists of Aisling Irish Community Center, Emerald Isle Immigration Center, New York GAA, New York Irish Center and United Irish Counties Association.

Already gaining much momentum, Sláinte 2020 has raised over $150,000 in three weeks, with an additional $15,000 pledged. Of this, $148,000 has been allocated in grants to date. A thorough review process ensures that all recipients demonstrate verified financial need.

While this is a great start, the volume of applications pouring in indicates an even greater need for support in the Irish community than that originally anticipated. We have received over 450 applications in three weeks and estimate that $400,000 would be required just to meet current requests for support.

Given that Sláinte 2020 is now receiving on average 30 applications per day, we project that goal figure to increase considerably in the coming weeks. Although construction work may resume shortly in New York, approximately TWO-THIRDS of our applicants work in the hospitality sector. Any financial reprieve for that sector in the foreseeable future is likely to come slowly and prove sorely inadequate to counter great hardships threatening them and their families.

We are so grateful to those who have donated thus far. We are spreading the word far and wide and the response from the community has been overwhelming, with donations coming in from all over the tri-state area, both by mail and online. On the administrative end, applications for assistance to Sláinte 2020 are being processed daily whilst links to employment opportunities are being updated on a regular basis.

The success achieved by the Sláinte 2020 project is obviously constrained by its fundraising capability. While enthusiasm and manpower abound, the stark reality is that the volume of support requests now vastly exceeds the funds on hand to lend that support. For this reason, we are making a fervent appeal to those who are in a position to help us - please consider making a donation so we can make a meaningful difference to those who need it most at this challenging time.

The Sláinte 2020 Steering Committeeis :

Caitriona Clarke, (Chairperson, Aisling Irish Center), Siobhan Dennehy, (Director, Emerald Isle Immigration Center), Sandra Feeney-Charles, (Director, Aisling Irish Center), Paul Finnegan, (Director, New York Irish Center), Joan Henchy, (Chairperson, New York GAA), Shane Humphries, (Attorney-at-Law), Michael O’Reilly, (First Vice-President, United Irish Counties Association)

To make a donation, please visit: www.Sláinte 2020.org, or mail donation to: Sláinte 2020-COVID-19 fund, 990 McLean Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704.

To learn more about Sláinte 2020, please visit www.Sláinte2020.org

Meanwhile Leitrim GAA Senior Players, present, and past invite supporters to join them on Saturday next, May 16 as they complete a 5km/10km run, cycle, walk for charity.

The beneficiaries of this worthy fundraising undertaking will be Pieta House and Sláinte 2020.

Leitrim GAA is asking people “to join our squad as they complete a 5km/10k run, cycle, walk throughout the day Saturday, and engage with live posts.

“We invite past players, supporters, and families to partake in this Special Leitrim Day for Charity.

“So why not join the lads in your Leitrim GAA Colours, take some pictures and post to #LeitrimGAASupportingOthers.
“Remember to observe social distancing while keeping to the 5km limit.
“We look forward to a great Leitrim Day on May 16.”
#LeitrimGAASupportingOthers