Sweet Charity

It has been a crazy, jam-packed, fun-filled year for most of us here at DCU. Amidst the chaos and craic, the students of DCU still made time for a little charity.

From the beginning of semester one the SU has been raising money for their chosen charities CARI, HeadstARTS and Smiles for Shauna. Discount cards were sold to students in October with all profits going to charity. At Halloween, the SU went trick or treating around campus in return for donations. C-RAG-GY week was also hosted by the SU in which a series of Father Ted themed events were held to raise more funds for their charities. At Christmas time, the SU staged a 24 hour sleep-out on campus. From these events in semester one, the SU raised over €5,000 for their charities. The highlight of Charity Week in semester two was the Mock Wedding hosted by the SU. Students saw Lorna getting married off and enjoyed a night’s craic in the name of charity. Over €8000 was raised from this week alone. In an interview with the College View, Lorna said: “At the beginning of the year our target was to raise €10,000 and I’m delighted to have reached and passed this target.”

The St. Vincent de Paul society also worked hard this year to make DCU a more charitable place. With two soup runs in the city every week, a local kids’ club and ‘Adopt a Grandparent’, the society was busy with volunteering. On top of their weekly activities, they hosted a 24 hour sleep-out in March. The Chairperson of SVP, Claire McManamon, told The College View that, “this event was not just a fundraising activity, but an awareness event also. It captures the spirit of the society and of DCU as a whole. If it wasn’t for the co-operation of estates and the enthusiasm of students it would never have been possible. Our night under the stars is always filled with fun, stories and music”. The event which is in its third year has raised more than €5000 for the society to date. The society also held two appeals at Christmas for food and toys. This event is new to the society and was a great success due to the generosity shown by the students and staff.

DCU RAG has held various events throughout the year for charity. The Underwear Mile in October saw students running around campus in their underwear and raised over €500. For the third year in a row, RAG Rumble took place and was a success for the society. In December, RAG teamed up with Art soc, Esoc and the Style society to hold DCU’S Little Christmas. Candy canes were sold and delivered by Santa and his Elf with proceeds going to charity. In March, RAG relief took place with five of DCU’s best comedians performing stand-up, followed by a performance from Fred Cooke. All profits from RAG relief were donated to GROW Ireland. RAGon’s Den was also a success for RAG this year. Students were given the chance to show their social project ideas in front of a panel of judges, including co-founder of RAG Ireland, Daithí de Buitléir. €800 was given to three winning social projects. This month, the society held a Father Ted style ‘Lovely Ladies’ competition in order to raise more money. The society held the annual ‘RAG Awards’, where volunteers were awarded for their hard work this year.

MPS also raised funds this year for charity. Their 24 hour TV broadcast raised over €5000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and they managed to have great craic in the process. Last week they also marked the 25 year anniversary of DCUfm and had a 25 hour radio broadcast to raise funds for Celebral Palsy Sport Ireland.

DCU Global Brigades have had a great year for charity work. This year they’ve sent 87 students to Ghana and Panama on brigade programmes such as water, public health, microfinance and human rights. The funds raised for these trips were close to €150,000. These brigades have had a lasting impact on all of the volunteers and have helped those less fortunate to get their basic needs.

Enactus DCU prides itself on its charity work. Their project HeadstARTS empowers and enables people with intellectual disabilities through the arts. HeadstARTS is one of the SU’s chosen charities for the year. They also launched an African-Irish accessories line where profits help to improve the lives of asylum seekers in Ireland. Enactus DCU are also working on a project called ‘Thrifity’, which enables charity shops to sell books online. This project has received a €5000 investment from Enterprise Ireland.

Although it has been a busy year filled with many highs and lows, charity was not forgotten among the students of DCU. The incredible selfless acts undertaken by many students this year continue to make DCU a caring and charitable place for us all.

Catherine Devine

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