Irish actor Colin Farrell has called on Irish people to dig deep in support of Special Olympics Ireland annual Collection Day today.
Every cent counts for the sports charity as it seeks to raise €500,000 in just 24 hours. 3,500 volunteers will be shaking buckets in 200 towns and villages over the course of the day and Farrell is hoping the public will get behind the worthy cause.
"If anyone remembers in 2003 when our country hosted the Special Olympics World Games and we gave accommodation and shelter to athletes from all over the world in various towns around the whole country," he said.
"It was an amazing experience for the whole country and everyone was supportive and got behind it. And there was such a sense of community about it, and not just a sense of optimism, but hope.
"It is an incredible thing what Special Olympics does and it is an amazing opportunity for the athletes involved to be recognised for striving to realise the fullest of their potential…It is a really worth cause and one that is very close to my heart and I believe close to the hearts of the people of Ireland as was demonstrated in 2003.”
The 38 year-old actor has been a high profile ambassador since the Special Olympics World Games were held in Ireland in 2003.
To promote this year’s Collection Day, which is supported by eircom, Farrell made a short home video in which he candidly explains what Special Olympics means to him.
“There will be volunteers all over the country in pubs, and clubs, and shopping centres and outside the cinema and annoying and heckling you for whatever you can afford,” he joked. “But, please, give all that you can. I know times are tough, and wallets can be tight, but it’s a great cause. So with all of this in mind, give all that you can. You can also text Special to 50300 and €2 will go to Special Olympics.”
This summer is a massive occasion for Special Olympics and 88 of its athletes who will be heading to Los Angeles to compete at the Special Olympics World Summer Games. Their selection comes after four years of training and competition.
The World Games will take place in LA from 25th July until 2nd August.