Simple fundraiser to run 5k and give €5 raises over 210k for hospitals

A simple fundraiser to run 5K, donate €5 and challenge five people to do the same has so far raised over €210,000 in less than two weeks for Irish hospitals.
Simple fundraiser to run 5k and give €5 raises over 210k for hospitals

A simple fundraiser to run 5K, donate €5 and challenge five people to do the same has so far raised over €210,000 in less than two weeks for Irish hospitals.

Organiser Fiona Tallon aimed to raise just €1000 through the GoFundMe 'Run for our HSE Heroes' challenge and was completely overwhelmed to see 30,500 donors from across the world raise over €210,000 by Thursday morning.

Indeed the amount raised more than doubled in three days after it hit the €100,000 mark on Monday.

The challenge has now gone global with Irish people tagging their friends all over the world and challenging them to get out and do the 5k run or walk for the hospitals.

The money raised was initially earmarked for eight hospitals but this will now be widened due to the total, which is increasing all the time.

Fiona, who works as a pharmacist in Swords, Co. Dublin said: "After seeing my friends on Instagram participating in a UK version of this campaign, I decided to start an Irish one to help our own heroes in the HSE

"The Irish are renowned worldwide for theor warm welcomes and caring nature. In these challenging times, we are being asked to come together by staying apart.

"Our frontline heroes go to work every day and risk their own health to help others so I asked people to support them.

"All you have to do is run or walk 5km, donate €5 and then tag five people on social media and challenge them to do the same.

"I wanted to split the €1000 between the Dublin hospitals, Beaumont, St James', Mater and Connolly Hospital as well as Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda, Co. Louth, Limerick University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital, Cork and Waterford University Hospital."

However Fiona, who hails from Stamullen, Co Meath, says more hospitals will now be included due to the huge amount raised.

"I just can't believe how it has taken off and raised so much," she said.

"I really am overwhelmed. It was €100,000 on Monday and now it's after passing the €200,000 mark. All I was expecting to raise was €1000.

"There are people tagging friends all over this country and even in Australia where I'm told it's really going well.

"I've been in touch with some hospitals already. Many of the major hospitals have foundations set up where staff can put forward their requests.

"A lot are looking for diagnostic and monitoring equipment such as ultrasound machines as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other general pieces.

"They are also trying to advertise that hospitals are always open for emergencies such as cardiac complaints because what they are experiencing at the minute is patients presenting with more severe symptoms and conditions as they are too afraid to go to hospital earlier.

"It's only 5k so manageable to walk or run so get tagging and challenging and let's keep raising funds for our hospitals so they can continue the good fight, not just now but for years to come.

"What's even more amazing is the messages that people are leaving on the GoFundMe page - if any frontline person out there feels unappreciated, then they should go and read what is on this page."

Dozens of messages on the page include: "Thank you to those in the HSE for everything they have done and sacrificed," while another reads "I hope to become a hero like them one day where what they're doing right now is actually making a difference to everyone across the world.

Anyone who would like to take part in the challenge and donate can do so at the website.

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