Trócaire has warned that up to one-third of its annual donations have been put at risk after Covid-19 restrictions severely curtailed the distribution of Trócaire boxes this Lent.
The charity’s Lenten Appeal began on Ash Wednesday but social and travel restrictions, including school closures and the suspension of public worship, means that for the first time in almost 50 years many homes will be without Trócaire boxes this year.
While boxes are available to be picked-up at churches nationwide, there are up to 50 per cent fewer boxes in circulation. Trócaire has asked supporters to pick-up Trócaire boxes from their local church if it is safe to do so, but otherwise to make their annual donation online at trocaire.org.
Trócaire raises approximately €8m each Lent, which amounts to roughly one-third of its annual donations. The charity has warned that its inability to distribute boxes this year may severely damage its life-saving work around the world.
Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra said, “Covid-19 restrictions mean this Lent will be the first time in almost 50 years many Irish homes will be without a Trócaire box. Boxes have been left in churches for people to pick-up and we urge supporters to pick-up a box if it is safe and within the public health guidelines to do so. Supporters who are unable to get a box this year can still support our life-saving work by donating online at trocaire.org.
“Lent is the engine that keeps our programmes going throughout the year. The public in Ireland always rally behind our campaign. While this year will be different, we hope the public will continue to support our life-saving work overseas.
“Our campaign this year focuses on people who are trapped in long-running wars, such as those affecting places such as South Sudan and Somalia. Generations of people in these countries have been forced to live through conflict. Their resilience and determination to help each other is remarkable. By donating to our Lenten Appeal, you will be helping them to help themselves.”
How Covid-19 restrictions have impacted the Trócaire box this year
School closures mean no boxes have been sent to schools, while fundraising activities in schools, such as bake sales and talent competitions, will also be severely curtailed this year.
Churches are open, meaning boxes are available to be picked-up, but masses are not taking place, limiting the number of people visiting churches. Travel restrictions mean not all supporters will be able to access a church to pick-up a box.
The number of boxes sent to each parish has been reduced by up to 50 per cent.
Ways people can donate this Lent
• Donate online at trocaire.org
• Donate over the phone by calling 1850 408 408 (RoI) or 0800 912 1200 (NI)
• Post a cheque to Trócaire, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare