Laois credit union staff give slice of wages to charities

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Portlarlington credit union

The staff in Portarlington Credit Union handing over their saved donations to the Kolbe Special School principal Orlagh Mahon, with Kolbe pupil Alex Finlay and his mother Karen

The staff at Portarlington Credit Union made a personal donation recently to two deserving charities, after sacrificing some of their wages every week throughout the year.

A dozen staff raised a total of €1,248 during 2018, after deciding to have €2 a week docked from their wages to give to local charities.

The idea began amongst staff in mid-2017 and that Christmas they shared a smaller sum between Port's Meals on Wheels and the local Lourdes Fund.

This year they all agreed to choose to support Kolbe Special School and the Pieta House charity.

Loans Officer Fiona Dunne helped to organise the donations.

“Pieta House had come to the credit union to seek sponsorship, so as staff, with everyone knowing someone affected by suicide, we decided to give €400 to them last October while they were fundraising,” she explained.

More below picture

Pictured: Eoghan Coffey accepting a cheque for €400 on behalf of Pieta House, donated from the wages of staff of Portarlington Credit Union

The remaining sum of €848 they gave to Kolbe School, as local boy Alex Finlay is a pupil there.

They presented their cheques to principal Orlagh Mahon from Kolbe just before Christmas.

“It was a lovely feeling to hand the cheques over. We didn't feel €2 a week going out of our wages all year. We didn't realise we had raised so much. They are so delighted we even thought of them,” said Ms Dunne.

“What made it special is that we as staff were handing over our own money. The credit union would give a lot of local sponsorship, but this came directly from us,” she said.

The staff intend to restart their fundraising again for two more good causes in 2019. Kolbe school in Portlaoise cares for children with severe to profound disabilities while Pieta House offers free emergency counselling to anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or self-harm.