List of Grantees
The Ireland Funds are strategically placed to ensure that grant recipients utilize resources efficiently. Our grant process ensures clear objectives with measurable results. We support vital work by determining the areas with most need and working with donors where their gifts can be most effective. Examples of some of the over 3000 projects we have assisted are below.
Caring for The Forgotten Irish
The Ireland Funds are proud to support programs that serve the "Forgotten Irish" - those men and women that immigrated to the U.S. and the U.K. driven by economic necessity and lack of opportunity in Ireland. As they built their lives they never forgot home, sending money and hope back to Ireland. So generous were their contributions that a line item in Ireland's national accounts at one time read "Emigrants' Remittances."
Today, many of these elderly people live in poverty and isolation, some left behind by family and friends and disconnected from the community, often too proud to ask for help. Many live meagerly after having sacrificed so much.
The Ireland Funds have sought out innovative programs that serve the Forgotten Irish and are giving back to those that came before us.
In New York
A portion of the proceeds from the 2009and 2010 New York Dinner Gala has delivered over $550,000 in support to three Irish Centers serving this fragile community:
The Aisling Irish Community Center has assisted over 460 seniors in the past 12 months with homecare assistance, recreational activities and workshops on issues such as bereavement, depression and financial advice.
The Emerald Isle Immigration Center has provided home visits, hot meals delivered to those who cannot leave home, and support from a trained social worker to address elderly issues.
The New York Irish Centre offers weekly lunches to seniors where they can socialize with friends, a referral service to agencies that provide legal and medical counseling, and on-site counselors and therapists who understand Irish culture and values.
Most recently, The American Ireland Fund has announced a partnership with the Irish Government in funding a toll-free helpline that is a collaboration between all three Irish centers. Modeled on a successful initiative in Ireland, the U.S. Senior Connect Helpline is available for seniors who are isolated, lonely or in need of services. Funding from The American Ireland Fund will underwrite a full-time position to oversee the program.
A portion of the proceeds from The Boston Dinner Gala went to the Irish Pastoral Centre and facilitated the purchase of a 13 passenger minibus that has been adapted to service the transportation needs of older and frail members of the community. Volunteers can now provide free transport to services and programs in the Greater Boston area.
The American Ireland Fund Young Leaders have raised funds for the Irish Senior Support (a department within Chicago Irish Immigrant Support) to provide services to the Forgotten Irish in Chicago. Over 120 seniors a month benefit from this program offering social services, counseling, referrals and a weekly drop-in meeting.
In Great Britain
The Ireland Fund of Great Britain has undertaken a campaign to serve the significant numbers of Forgotten Irish (estimates are over 100,000 people) living in London and surrounding areas. To date, the campaign has raised over £ 2 million. Some of these organisations have complex outreach programmes available to help the most vulnerable, others are simply a weekly lunch club where lonely Irish people can meet old friends and make new ones. Many of these organisations are a lifeline to tens of thousands older Irish people living in the UK today.
Download an expanded version of this story from Connect - the magazine of The Worldwide Ireland Funds Download PDF