Louise Cooney pictured at the Pieta House Darkness into Light Walk in 2019 with her parents Tony and Grainne and her dog Cooper
Social Media Influencer Louise Cooney fundraises for Pieta House
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle
Pieta House is yet another organisation that is bearing the financial brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a shortage of incoming funds, and their annual international Darkness into Light event being pushed back to later this year, it is a trying time for the charity, which is finding itself busier now more than ever. Kind-hearted Limerick lady Louise Cooney has kickstarted a fundraising campaign for Pieta House with a €1000 donation, with hopes to support the continuation of the charity’s amazing work during this pandemic.
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Cheers to €50,000 ❤️??? In just over a day, we met our target 10 times over for @pieta.house. I’m amazed by everyone’s generosity, kind words and ability to come together & support eachother in the toughest of times! Thank you ❤️ The donation link is still open (the link is in my bio) keep sharing & donating if you can – every little helps ? #50k #thankyou #fundraising
Speaking about the fundraising, Louise said, “Pieta house reached out to me as they are experiencing an unprecedented amount of calls due to the pandemic. With their Darkness into Light walks postponed, they are missing out on a lot of the funding that they depend on. It’s a cause close to my heart, having experienced suicide in my family last year and so I know how important having these free mental health services available are.”
This is a cause close to the heart of Lifestyle Fashion Blogger Louise Cooney from Dooradoyle, County Limerick. Having lost her cousin Nicky to suicide last year, Louise is determined to support the Pieta House organisation during this time, as she knows how vital it is. Prompting donations with €1000, Louise, who has just made an emergency transatlantic move home to Ireland after living in New York since September 2019, is urging the public to donate any amount that they can to Pieta House through her Go Fund Me page.
Louise commented, “I understand during this time people have lost their jobs and are out of work but I would love if you could donate €5 (or whatever you can afford at this time) to this very worthy cause. It really would make such a difference to help everyone at a time when we so need it.”
Louise’s Aunty Patrice, Mother of Louise’s late cousin Nicky, encourages people to make use of the services that Pieta House offer, saying, “Anyone who is feeling anxious or stressed at this time, please contact and use the facilities and the services that are available, some of them are free of charge. There are plenty out there, keep trying until you find the answer that you are looking for. There are answers and there is help, all you have to do is ask.”
“Our story is a devastating one. Our lovely son Nicky died by suicide on the 3rd of August last year, and it has left a devastating hole in our family. So please keep communicating, keep reaching out, keep trying to find the answer to your problem. While there’s life, there’s hope.”
Pieta House first opened its doors in Lucan, County Dublin in 2006, and has since helped almost 60,000 people who were in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm. There are now fifteen Pieta House centres across Ireland, as well as five outreach services and a 24-hour freephone helpline, as they employ over 270 qualified therapists and administration staff through funding and donations alone. At an extremely uncertain and unfamiliar time like that of today, Pieta House needs support more than ever, so they can continue their state-of-the-art services which are vital to helping thousands of people across Ireland.
In 2019 alone, there were 13,705 phone calls answered and 31,139 text messages replied to via their 24 hour helpline services. Without Darkness Into Light they are asking the public for support to ensure our services can be sustained during this difficult time.
The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in most of us either confined to our homes, or working in extreme and risky conditions on the frontline. With restaurants, schools, pubs and shops closed, socialising prohibited, and our general daily lives turned upside down, it is a difficult time for everyone, and a time that has no doubt had an effect on all of our mental health. But some are suffering more than others.
Financial worries, COVID-19 anxiety, feeling trapped and confined, loneliness. These are just some of the effects that the new restrictions may have on our mental health, and so it is vital that organisations such as Pieta House can continue to operate and support thousands of people who are struggling at this time.
Commenting on the early success of the campaign, with over €54,000 raised already, Louise said, “I can’t believe the response – people have been so generous, in a time when unemployment is at a record high it just shows how amazing people can be. I’m so grateful to every single person who has donated so far and I would love if people continued to share and donate. Every euro makes a difference.”
To donate at Louise’s Pieta House GoFund page, click HERE.
For past stories on Pieta House, click here.