IN normal years, the Novas’ fundraising programme of activities concludes with an annual sleep-out on the last Friday before Christmas.
However, there is nothing normal about 2020 and instead of a large community event, this year the local homeless charity is asking people to ‘sleep-in’ in their own homes and help raise vital funds for frontline homeless services.
For the last five years, Novas has hosted the pre-Christmas sleep-out outside Brown Thomas, which has raised thousands of euros for its Limerick services.
Last year, backed by Limerick hurler Will O’Donoghue, Clare hurler and footballer Podge Collins and the Tipperary hurling panel, the organisation ran three simultaneous events in Limerick, Ennis and Thurles and raised more than €64,000.
Novas’ Head of Policy and Communications, Dr Una Burns explained that the sleep-out is normally the biggest single fundraising event of the year and the money raised helps their frontline services such as Street Outreach, emergency accommodation and family support.
“About 50 per cent of all monies raised through fundraising and donations in the year, is made in the six -week period in the run up to Christmas. This is largely through community and public events, all of which have had to be paused during the pandemic,” Dr Burns told the Limerick Post.
In an effort to continue the fundraising spirit of Christmas, Novas are asking people to participate in their sleep-in this year.
”Safety is the first priority but there are still plenty of ways to get involved. People can build a fort in their living room with the kids, pitch a tent in their garden, sleep on their balcony or participate with colleagues in the car park or their workplace. Being a virtual event, people can basically participate from anywhere and for the first time, they can get the kids involved.”
To help Novas raise vital funds visit https://novas.ie/novas-annual-christmas-sleep-in/