Saturday 10 December 2016

Meet the schoolboy who is raising money to tackle the homeless crisis

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 05/11/2015 | 10:36

Cian O'Grady, on the left, is organising a fundraiser to help the homeless in Limerick
Credit:Facebook/Cian O'Grady
Cian O'Grady, on the left, is organising a fundraiser to help the homeless in Limerick Credit:Facebook/Cian O'Grady

It seems that Ireland's future is in good hands if the actions of this Leaving Cert student are anything to go by.

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Cian O'Grady (17), a pupil at John the Baptist Community school in Hospital, Limerick was so saddened by his city's spiralling homelessness problem that he took it upon himself to do something about it.

"My aim is to raise at least €1000 which will go towards funding services for the homeless of Limerick.

"These services include counselling, education and rehab.

"The money will be handed over to the Simon Community in Limerick who will then redistribute the funds," he told Independent.ie.

He contacted local businesses such as Munster Rugby and New Wave Broadband and asked them to donate prizes for a fundraising raffle that will take place at his school on December 18.

Cian said he is busy selling raffle tickets for the event and has also set up a gofundme page where people can make an online donation to this worthy cause.

He has also joined forces with food franchises who have donated food vouchers which he will personally pass on to homeless men and women.

"I spent time working with St. Vincent De Paul in Limerick city and saw first hand the queues of people, both old and young, coming to collect food.

"I felt something needed to be done, especially at Christmas time, which is a very hard time for people living on the streets," he said.

Cian said he has received tremendous support from businesses and his classmates are lending a hand too.

"I've always felt that homelessness is something that needs to be addressed as there are 5,000 people living rough in Ireland and that's only going to get worse.

"I'm doing this to give those who really need it the best possible chance to get their life back on track and live a life we all live," he said.

Cian will sit the Leaving Cert in 2016 and wants to study Social Care at the Limerick Institute of Technology, with a view to working in the charitable sector after college.

You can visit Cian's fund raising page at https://www.gofundme.com/qc4r8h8w

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