Thank you UCD AgSoc!
Anne was recently asked to attend a presentation of a donation from AgSoc a UCD student society who shocked, amazed and delighted us by raising a massive €50,000 for us. As Anne explained
"These students are renowned for their annual fundraising efforts and every year they pick two charities to donate to. One of our dads Padraig Healy has a connection to UCD (having graduated from there some years ago) Through these connections Padraig was able to forward 22q11 Ireland as a possible charity for 2017-18. Happily they accepted us (along with Pieta House) and Padraig also introduced his daughter Aibhin to some of the students.
This is a really good example of how personal networks work and as Padraig pointed out lots of people have been to university or have family members who went to college or are currently in college. Lots of students also fundraise and look for charitable causes to donate to. The same goes for big companies and workplaces and we have always found that it is the personal connections that work for us here in 22q11 Ireland when it comes to fundraising.
Pieta House is instantly and easily recognised as a charity name, not so as we all know for 22q11DS! The students therefore asked me along to their annual ball to say a few words and to tell them a little more. I was very happy to do that and to get the opportunity to thank them for their fundraising efforts and for choosing us as one of their charities. They are an ordinary bunch of extraordinary young people who took on the fundraising challenge on top of their part-time jobs and study.
I have to say that at no time was I aware of any amount of money that 22q11 Ireland would receive. I assumed that we being the smaller and unknown charity that we would get the smaller amount of money. You can only imagine my complete astonishment and absolute delight when the students handed over a cheque for the staggering amount of €50,000!!!!!! I'm still pinching myself to make sure that I'm not dreaming!
Our committee is now going to sit down and discuss how we can best use our windfall to our best advantage. It may be that we can co-fund a collaborative application to access funding but we intend to fully explore our options and will as always decide to do what what will ultimately benefit our families. If anyone has any ideas / suggestions please do let us know and if anyone wants to put their name forward for the committee please also let us know.
Finally, and on behalf of everyone I'd like to give our collective thanks to Padraig for his advocacy efforts that got us this amazing donation, it certainly came at the right time and will go a long way to helping us get where we want to go."
Everybody involved in 22q11 Ireland would like to sincerely thank the wonderful student of UCD's AgSoc (Especially Peter Keaveney who was our liasion) they have made a massive difference to our small but mighty charity. We hope they know how much we value and appreciate all the hard work that went into raising this money for us.