Monday, November 29, 2010

New voucher scheme for teachers to aid the needy

Parents setting out to track down Christmas presents for their children’s teachers have been urged to check out a newly launched voucher scheme which could fulfil this purpose and at the same time help Dublin’s most needy.

 The Thank You Teacher voucher scheme is a new initiative of Crosscare, the social care agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin.  Crosscare hopes to tap into the quarter of a million euro spent annually on Christmas gifts for teachers in Dublin.

According to Michael McDonagh of Crosscare many of these presents end up “in the bottom of the wardrobe or in the charity shop” because they are not necessarily something the teacher themselves would choose.

The new scheme provides schoolchildren with a certificate of appreciation for their teacher while the money they would have spent on a present is donated towards Crosscare’s services to 70,000 people including homeless, young children in care, elderly and disabled, whom the agency helps annually.

“The project has had lots of support from teachers happy to see money going to such a good cause instead of being spent on bath salts and slippers,” Michael McDonagh said.  He explained that the recession in Ireland was creating a growing need for Crosscare’s services.

“Over the past twelve months we have identified significant increases in the amounts of young people attending our services who are either self-harming or actively talking about committing suicide.”

He added, “The support needed for such young people has our services at breaking point and all funds raised through the voucher scheme will go directly into the provision of services for such young people.”

The Crosscare spokesman said, “It is only through creative fundraising such as the Thank You Teacher voucher that charities like ours have any hope of serving this need.”

The voucher scheme can be accessed through Crosscare’s website where donations can be made and certificates downloaded.