Hi everyone

The Limerick Society of New York brought 100 mold kits to the Rockaways the Sunday before Christmas. Please see attached photos. The money raised from our Hurricane Sandy fundraiser at the end of November went to purchasing components of the kits including bleach, scrubbing brushes, rubber gloves, goggles, masks etc. Fortunately, we were able to avail of the purchasing power of MaidPro (www.maidpro.com/manhattan ) through John Dallaire, Managing Director, which enabled us to put together 100 good quality kits with the little money we had.

We are very grateful for the assistance we received from other County Societies including County Antrim and County Laois. Cooperation among County Societies in New York ties in with the UICA Joint Counties initiative (www.uicany.org) where smaller County Societies pool their resources to support each other. The County Societies are such an important part of the Irish American community in New York. Our former Consul General, Tim O’Connor used to refer to the County Societies as the back bone of the Irish and Irish American community in New York, and how right he is. Although some say the County Societies are dying, disasters like Hurricane Sandy demonstrate that they are alive and well even after 100+ years, and can immediately engage cooperation and assistance along and across County lines. Incidentally, Tim is the man behind the ‘Gathering Ireland 2013′, to be launched New Year’s Eve in Dublin, and what an event that will be!

We left MaidPro offices at 8am, and after taking the scenic route via Rockville Center, finally made it to the Rockaways (without hitting any bridges on the way down!) just before 10am, in time for 10:30am mass.

We parked the truck outside St. Francis Church on Beach 129th St., hoisted the Limerick flag on the side of the truck, and started unloading the kits along the sidewalk. We met Tom Hannan who was asked byMichael Benn (a great Limerick man and owner of www.gaeltv.com) to help us coordinate the effort, and what a character Tom is, and what great stories and ideas he has. He is a former banker, and used to attend world bank meetings here in New York. He is now retired, but still working hard supporting Veterans returning from war torn areas who are finding it difficult adjusting to life back home, through the Veterans Mentoring Program, Queens Veterans Court.

Tom asked the Monsignor to announce our initiative during mass, and after mass the kits went like hot cakes. We didn’t have enough kits to cater for the later 12pm mass! Residents were asking us for more, and if we were coming back to the area again. We will certainly try!

It was really great to see the continuing support activities in the area, and the dedication of the support teams. These hard hit areas will need a lot more support over the coming months from as many agencies and organizations as possible.

We would also like to thank the following:

The newly elected President of the County Antrim Society of New York, Malachy McAlister, who provided us with one of his trucks, which he brought in from New Jersey to pick up the kits and transport them to the Rockaways. Malachy was eager to continue giving his assistance to the victims of Sandy by helping us in our efforts. Malachy has made his trucks and men available free of charge to other organizations on a number of occasions including the United Irish Counties Association Annual Feis.

Brenton Hard of ‘Visions’ (services for the blind and visually impaired www.visionsvcb.org), and Joe Kelly, both of whom assisted us on the day loading and unloading kits and handing them out to people who needed them. This was Joe’s third time visiting the Rockaways to give his assistance to anyone suffering hardship due to Sandy, and what a motivated man he is. The first time I met Joe was at Irish Day of Action, where he led many of us to areas and homes in need of assistance.

Mike Dunphy and his wife (President of the New York Laois Association www.nylaoisassociation.com) for their support of our fundraiser. Mike is also co-developer of the UICA Joint Counties initiative, and is always there when you need his support.

If you’re looking for a job, these are some of the people you can meet who offer great support to the Irish community (for no pay), and who may even be able to help you find a job, provided you are willing to get involved. Failte 32 has always said that (and is founded upon) face to face networking is the most effective way of finding employment. We saw a recent article in the New York Daily News espousing face to face networking when looking for employment, which Failte 32 has been saying all along (maybe some day they’ll catch up with us :D )

The Limerick Society was able to provide enough kits to treat 100+ homes, which goes to show you that a lot can be achieved with very little. We added additional value by bringing supplies directly to Hurricane Sandy victims, therefore utilizing 100% (over 100%) of proceeds for the benefit of victims i.e. no program, administrative or fundraising expenses.

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The Irish Consulate’s (New York) December 2012 newsletter is out now. Click on link below:

http://www.consulateofirelandnewyork.org/home/index.aspx?id=87721

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Wishing you all a very happy and successful New Year, particularly those of you affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Kind regards

Failte 32 Committee

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