Begin a Charity at Home

Charity at home Caption- The Pale, who performed at one such event.

It’s well known that charities everywhere are feeling the squeeze, with many people who would have given regularly having to cut back on what they can afford to give. This leaves a lot of people wishing they could do more.

Well, it’s probably a lot easier than you might think to do something that will make a real difference.

Arran Henderson of Ballsbridge was one such person who found his belt being tightened. He decided to use the resources he had to raise money rather than just donate it. Henderson runs a walking tour of Dublin called Dublin Decoded, and he used this as a platform to fundraise for Focus Ireland. He chose the charity after noticing a marked increase in people sleeping rough around the city.

“I walk for a living and when I’m not doing the tours I’m out researching or taking photographs all around Dublin,” he tells NewsFour. “The rise in homelessness is heart-breaking and impossible to miss; there are whole families who are homeless in Dublin city.”

The tours Henderson runs are historical in nature and he raised hundreds for Focus by staging three walks especially for the charity; an ancient and Viking tour, a walk around the walls, gates and watchtowers of old Dublin, and a World War One history tour. He plans to run many more charity events, and if you’d like to learn about the hidden history of our city while helping a worthy cause, check the Dublin Decoded website for details.

Another person who got busy to help the charities he cares for is Anthony O’Keefe. He and Aide Clark hosted a pub quiz and a separate musical event in aid of charities they supported. Of setting these up, O’Keefe says, “It was quite straightforward; the venues we got for free because we were bringing in business. We needed prizes for the quiz and raffle, so we just approached everyone we knew and asked them to help; we got great ones this way. The Football Association of Ireland gave us two tickets to the Ireland vs England friendly in Geneva.”

As for actually making the approaches, he says, “All you have to do is ask. The worst someone can say is no, so it’s worth a shot.”

The musical event was also very little hassle for such a great reward. “Aide knew well known Irish band The Pale, and another friend knew a singer called Cat Dowling; we just asked them and they said yes. Again the venue was free, and we sent the shout out to all our friends via Facebook and word of mouth; we charged €10 on the door and raised hundreds,” O’Keefe says.

The message from everyone NewsFour spoke to was that if you can’t give money, give a little bit of your time.

Pictured: The Pale, who performed at one such event.

By Steve Kingston