Two NUIG students raised over €1,700 for the Galway Simon Community last year changing plans on the fly to move planned fundraisers online.
Felix O Murchadha and John Flannery wanted to do something to support those facing homelessness in Galway, and hit on the idea of providing free haircuts and grooming to men supported by the Simon Community’s services.
A number of fundraising events were planned for the ‘Helping Haircuts’ initiative from February onwards last year, but sadly these plans were thrown into chaos by COVID-19.
Despite the fact that the event couldn’t go ahead in person, the duo were not discouraged, and continued to raise funds and spread awareness through the year online, via social media and a fundraising page.
Last December, they also ran a fundraising campaign called ‘Suit up for Simon’ called on people to get suited up in formal wear for dinner at home with their housemates or families, post about it, and make a donation.
To date the ‘Helping Haircuts’ initiative has raised €1,729 for the Galway Simon Community’s Health & Well-being Fund, exceeding their original target of €1,500.
Amy Lavelle, Community & Youth Partnerships Coordinator at Galway Simon Community linked in closely with Felix and John throughout the year and praised them for their hard work.
“We are deeply grateful to have been the chosen charity for this brilliant initiative and we can’t thank the students enough for creating ‘Helping Haircuts’ to raise much needed funds for our frontline services.
“Their motivation to raise awareness and funds in support of those facing homelessness in these difficult times has been truly inspiring”, Amy said.
The Galway Simon Community has continued to support people in emergency accommodation or at risk of homelessness throughout the COVID-19 crisis,
The economic hardships caused by the pandemic has resulted in a greater demand for their services than ever, at a time when it has also been more difficult to raise funds.