THE managing director of a local company and its senior management team have spent a night on the streets of Strabane in a bid to raise awareness of homelessness.
Eamon McCay, founder of cooking oil supplies company, Frylite, and several senior team members braved the elements on a cold, rainy night in the town on Saturday night to highlight the plight of those sleeping on the streets and to raise some much-needed funds to tackle the issue of homelessness across Ireland.
The mission was prompted by World Homelessness Day which was marked on October 10 and also coincides with the company’s 30th anniversary.
Speaking about the initiative, Mr McCay acknowledged that he was was fortunate in being able to choose the temporary homelessness adding that, for others, it is not a choice.
“Almost 10,000 people described themselves as homeless in Ireland this year. That includes men, women, couples and families. These are staggering figures, but the most important message is that we can all help,” he said.
Frylite and Mr McCay are working in partnership with a variety of charities including DePaul – a cross-border charity supporting some of the most marginalised individuals, couples and families experiencing homelessness.
Their mission is to end homelessness and change the lives of those affected by it.
The Frylite sleep out is also just one part of a huge charity initiative designed to celebrate the company’s 30 years in business to help families and the local communities throughout Ireland in 2018 in 2019.
Over the course of 12 months, colleagues are being encouraged to play their part in raising £30,000 to be donated to a range of nominated charities.
Eamon added: “Frylite has always aimed to give back to the communities in which we live and work. Because we’re an all-Ireland business, we’ve found many ways to do this over the years and saw our 30 years in business as an even bigger opportunity to do more of the same.
“I personally am delighted to make this small gesture to help raise awareness of a nationwide issue. I would be very grateful if you can donate what you can to this most deserving of causes by visiting our Frylite GoFundMe Page.”
To date, the online fundraising link has a running total of an impressive £8,286.
Other key events planned include a charity gala ball on November 3, ‘Frylite helping in Kenya’ in February 2019 when a team will help out in local schools and projects. There are many more events planned throughout next year.
“We are planning a variety of events throughout Ireland to raise awareness on homelessness, mental health and many more areas that affect local families. It is going to be a fun packed year of fundraising and we really need as much help as possible to raise £30,000.
“All money raised will go towards the following: helping people on the brink of homelessness and make a real and lasting difference to those individuals, families and children currently living in emergency accommodation, providing care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families, counselling and respite services for families and aising awareness of mental health in Ireland,” a company spokesperson added.
If you would like to donate to the company’s very worthy efforts, log on to www.gofundme.com