Charities such as the Irish Cancer Society and Pieta House have lost millions of euro after cancelling major fundraising drives due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Wheel, which represents more than 1,700 charities, community and voluntary organisations, and social enterprises across the country said that a combination of surging demand and the collapse of normal fundraising income has left the sector in desperate need of public support.
According to the group, the Irish Cancer Society is down a projected €4m, having cancelled Daffodil Day, while Pieta House, which supports mental health and anti-suicide measures, are down up to €6m due to the postponement of their Darkness into Light fundraiser.
Church gate collections have been suspended indefinitely, which has left many local charities and community groups without funds for services.
However, other organisations, such as St Vincent De Paul and rural community groups, will be providing support to those suffering financially because of Covid-19.
Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel, called on members of the public and the corporate sector to donate to charities working on the front line to support and protect vulnerable people during the crisis.
“Tens of thousands of people woke up this morning with their jobs and income at risk,” she said. “Our charities and community groups will be facing unprecedented demands to support people in these distressing times.
“The many others who are lucky to have secure employment and income have an important opportunity to support others by donating to organisations providing services in health and disability, meals on wheels, homelessness, carer supports, poverty relief and other crucial services.”
Ms Garvey said that, “in the spirit of social solidarity”, it is important for the public to support charities.
“Making donations, however big or small, to the many charities that are working to preserve health and social services, and maintain the very fabric of our society at this time, is something that should be expected of those who can afford it,” she said.
The Wheel has also called on the Government to put a comprehensive plan in place to support the work of charities during the crisis.
- The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
- Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department - if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999 and in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999