Huge support for Olga and Grace Gilliland
An astonishingly generous response from the public and the business sector to help raise €50,000 to buy a bus for Donegal Town-based St Agnes Day Centre is almost there in record time.
As we write, the total raised in less than two weeks is nearing €30,000 (and growing) and the people behind the effort, in particular Olga Gilliland and the parents of other service users at St Agnes Day Centre, have been blown away by the generosity of so many people.
Last Saturday Olga and her daughter Grace, who is a service user at the centre, captured the hearts and minds of the people of the north west, when along with many staff, parents and volunteers from St. Agnes Day Centre, they completed a gruelling 10K challengein Bundoran.
Driven on by the support of so many, the group, led by Olga, pushed Grace’s wheelchair over the demanding course in windy, cold conditions and bystanders cheered and clapped them to the finish line.
Olga told the Democrat: “I just cannot believe the reaction to all this, it is phenomenal, the generosity of people is unbelievable.”
She continued: “The whole idea came out of a conversation just a fortnight ago when we just decided we would do this push for the Centre. Canice Nicholas immediately nominated us as one of the chosen charities and it all took off from there.
“Our goal was to raise €50,000 for a new bus which will greatly enhance the lives of the service users from Glenties to Bundoran and everywhere between.
“We have just been overwhelmed by the reaction, the Credit Union in Donegal Town have made a massive contribution of €15,000, Cara Pharmacy €5,000, Harvey’s Point €1,000 and we have raised nearly €8,000 ourselves. It is just simply amazing.”
Continuing, she said, “With the front page article in the paper on Tuesday, the phone has just not stopped ringing and social media has gone on overdrive.
“It looks like, with some more work, we will achieve our goal. We do not mind how small a donation may be. Every single cent will go into making our users' lives better.”
Canice Nicholas, one of the organisers of the Cara Bundoran Challenge, commented, “This is perhaps one of the most satisfying aspects of the whole event. We can look at organisation or the great numbers present but this embodies the whole spirit of the event.
“We all have our own personal challenges, be it physically or in business, but this just proves that charity is the real winner in events like this.”