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New charity to help preserve dignity

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HELPING OTHERS: Etain Usher (Tralee Food Aid) with Martina O'Riordan from Killarney who has set up Dignity Packs Kerry to help those in need. Photo: Michelle Crean

 

By Michelle Crean

A brand new charitable service has been set up by a Killarney woman to help those in financial dire straits retain their dignity.

Dignity Packs Kerry, which aims to supply free toiletries to people in need,was founded by Martina O'Riordan three weeks ago to give hygiene supplies to those who can’t afford life’s basics.

Now she’s hoping it will become a countywide initiative and she’s looking for others to come on board to help.

Martina became involved through Etain Usher from Tralee Food Aid, who runs a service that donates food to families and individuals. Etain suggested setting up the service and as Martina wanted to help others she jumped at the chance.

She’s asking locals to donate items such as shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, shower gels, razors and shaving foam, face cloths, soap, sanitary towels and Tampons, toothbrushes and toothpaste, wet wipes and nappy sacks, which can be dropped into special collection bins at the various collection points in town.

She explained that the items donated will be placed in plain brown paper bags and dropped into emergency accommodation centres, Meals on Wheels and schools.

“Etain asked if I’d like to branch into this and I set up a Facebook page three weeks ago,” Martina told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

“It was friends and family helping at first but it’s growing.”

Tesco Ireland, who also support Tralee Food Aid, have come on board and Martina plans to put collection bins in the New Street store in the coming days. She’s also hoping businesses could sponsor buying plain paper bags, collection bins for other locations, or allow bins to be placed in their stores. Volunteers are also welcome to help, she added.

“It’s not just for people in emergency accommodation,” Martina said.

“It’s the ones with high mortgages that don’t have the extra funds for the basics. We don’t want to know who is getting them. We’ll get them out there to the people who need them through the centres.”

She added that if she met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that she’d ask him to meet people who are still living in poverty.
“I’d like him to meet these people and realise that there’s a whole country here that needs help. He needs to see what others are going through outside of Dublin. If we don’t do it who will? They’re not going to do it.”

To donate or to enquire about sponsoring a collection bin, signage or bags, contact Martina O'Riordan on 085 1167173, via email: dignitypackskerry@gmail.com or on Facebook: Dignity Packs Kerry.

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SURVEY: Locals are reducing their social contacts

It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week. An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their […]

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It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week.

An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their level of contacts with people.

Interestingly, 37.10% of people had made no change to their lifestyle, but they could have been extra cautious already.

A tiny minority – just 1.61% – said they increased their social contacts over the last week.

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Staff and students highlight important message

By Michelle Crean Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion. Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. All staff wore […]

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By Michelle Crean

Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion.

Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

All staff wore a rainbow colour and students wore rainbow coloured accessories to show their support for the campaign as Killarney Community College is a diverse, inclusive, accepting, and welcoming safe space for everyone.

The majority of students made a particularly great effort in terms of wearing rainbow coloured accessories were awarded house points.

During the week, the LGBTI+ flag was hanging proudly in the school canteen. Transition Years decorated the General Purpose area with informative posters, and in SPHE classes, students learned about LGBTI+ terminology and history.

“It’s important that school is a safe and inclusive place for anyone attending regardless of their race, sex, religion or sexuality,” Principal, Stella Loughnane, said.

“I’m delighted that our school community marked the occasion and brought great colour while highlighting a very important message. One of the key words of our mission statement is inclusion making this awareness day a very apt one.”

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