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Clionas Foundation Christmas Campaign aims to “Give a Gift that REALLY matters” Clionas Foundation Christmas Campaign aims to “Give a Gift that REALLY matters”

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Clionas Foundation Christmas Campaign aims to “Give a Gift that REALLY matters”

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Clionas Foundation Christmas Campaign – RTE presenter and patron of Cliona’s Foundation Miriam O Callaghan pictured above helping to launch the new fundraising initiative with Brendan Ring of Cliona’s Foundation. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography.

The campaign aims to raise funds for families who are caring for a seriously sick child this Christmas season

Clionas Foundation Christmas Campaign aims to “Give a Gift that REALLY matters”
RTE presenter and patron of Cliona’s Foundation Miriam O Callaghan. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography.

Irish broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan recently launched the Clionas Foundation Christmas Campaign“Give a Gift that REALLY matters”, which aims to raise funds for families who are caring for a seriously sick child this Christmas season.

Cliona’s Foundation is a national organisation providing financial support for these families The foundation was set up by Brendan and Terry Ring following the death of their daughter Cliona from an inoperable brain tumour in 2006, aged 15. Cliona’s have provided financial support to over 1,100 families across the island of Ireland.  Cliona’s believe that no family should suffer financial distress while caring for a seriously ill child.

Cliona’s have seen a rise in applications overall this year, and have allocated over €400,000 in funding to struggling families so far in 2022, the largest annual amount since the organisation was founded in 2008. It is estimated that there are 4000 families caring for a child with a serious and/or life limiting illness in Ireland right now with many of them struggling with the substantial non-medical costs of caring for their child while in hospital or at home.

In response to the growing crisis that families with sick children find themselves in, Clionas are aiming to raise €150,000 through the Clionas Foundation Christmas Campaign. The idea is to give those who purchase a gift for a loved one will get something wonderful in return. There are many gift options available under Cliona’s Christmas tree including hotel stays, flights and experiences. 

Cliona’s are also offering people the chance to drive into 2023 in a brand-new Ford Focus via their Car Raffle. Tickets for the raffle are only €20 with a special offer running right now where you can purchase 6 tickets for €100. Why not give someone a gift?    

Lastly, Give a “Gift that REALLY matters” includes a very special owl toy, developed by Dunnes Stores, which helps children to manage their anxiety by teaching them a unique breathing meditation Voiced by his very own special ambassador Suzanne Jackson. The sleep story is available to download on Clionas.ie. 100% of the proceeds of this partnership will go to Cliona’s Foundation as Dunnes Stores have kindly supported the costs of developing Rory!

Cliona’s Co-Founder and CEO Brendan ring addressed the seriousness of the issue facing families here in Ireland which he says really needs to be urgently discussed nationwide saying, “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who have supported Cliona’s in 2022 and to all who donated prizes, gifts and their time. This is a very special and ambitious campaign which will help make a huge difference to families who desperately need financial support while caring for their seriously ill child. It has never been more important to raise the awareness for the “forgotten families” Cliona’s work with. The cost-of-living crisis is having a major impact this winter. As a result, more families with seriously sick children or children with a life-limiting illness, who would likely not have needed our financial support before, are now coming to us for help. Without everyone working so closely for a common goal, this campaign would never have happened.”

In 2022 Cliona’s has increased the level of support provided to these families in an attempt to alleviate the additional pressures brought about by the cost-of-living increases. This has seen a doubling of the total amount distributed to these families over the past year, which has only been possible due to the generosity of the public and a number of corporates who supported through donations and various fundraising initiatives.

Long-time patron of Cliona’s Miriam spoke of her understanding and empathy of the issue facing families supported by Cliona’s saying,  “Christmas, while it is a very special time, can place families under significant financial pressure. This pressure is amplified for families that have a seriously sick child and are struggling to make ends meet. Brendan and Terry Ring and all in Cliona’s are doing amazing work for these families and these fantastic fundraisers give people the opportunity to be a part of that while at the same time securing a great gift. There is something for everyone on offer and I would encourage people to get bidding and buying, make a real difference.”

2022 also marks 14 years of Cliona’s working on behalf of the “forgotten families” of Ireland whose daily struggles are at the heart of the endeavors of Cliona’s Foundation. Cliona’s Foundation expects at least 200 families will have applied for financial assistance this year and will need to raise a minimum of €500,000 to meet these applications. 

Rory is available in Dunnes Stores and online at dunnesstores.com

To support families in crisis this Christmas, learn more about Clionas and to see how you can help please visit clionas.ie

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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