Ronan O’Keeffe and Chloe Foo from St Aidan’s Community College at the launch of the 2021 SHARE fundraising campaign. Photos: Gerard McCarthy

True SHARE spirit

Those familiar yellow jackets will be dotted around the city once again this year.

It’s the annual SHARE collection which will take place next month but there’s also another day of fundraising planned for this month.

True SHARE spirit will be extended across the schools of Cork on 26 November for the second annual Yellow Day. In recognition of the challenges the pandemic has brought to organised events, the students of Cork will once again wear yellow on Friday 26 November to raise funds and awareness of the isolation felt by the vulnerable elderly.

On the day, hundreds of students from schools across Cork city will don the familiar yellow jackets to raise awareness of the SHARE (Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly) organisation.

The annual street collection fundraising campaign will happen as usual in December where a number of students will take part in the annual SHARE 24 hour fast, and keeping with tradition, students will attend the crib daily in the run-up to Christmas as they co-ordinate the daily fundraising effort.

Students will collect right up until Christmas Eve, raising much-needed funds for a charity that has looked after the elderly in the region for half a century.

Yellow Day was introduced in 2020 as an outreach to schools across Cork wishing to participate in the annual campaign. Schools and students readily embraced the initiative of wearing yellow for one day and seeking sponsorship for the worthy cause and the response to date has been phenomenal.

Speaking at the launch of Yellow Day, Chair of the 2021 Executive, Ronan McAuliffe said: “This is an extra special year for the SHARE team. The isolation felt by the elderly has no doubt been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“This year, we’re asking everyone in Cork to ‘Say Hello To Someone You Know’, to recognise that many have borne hardship and been left behind, that there is a lingering pandemic of isolation and loneliness, and that each and every one of us can do a little daily, by remembering that every person matters, and that how saying hello can lift someone’s day.”

SHARE is a registered charity, founded in 1970 by students from Presentation Brothers College, Cork, who raised funds to try and make existing housing more comfortable. The organisation has gone from strength to strength since then, now encompassing schools across Cork city and county, whose students fast and fundraise annually at Christmas time for SHARE.

Luke Whelan, who is leading the Yellow Day initiative said: “It’s a simple but very meaningful gesture. We want everyone to ‘Say Hello To Someone You Know’ this year, and together we can combat loneliness. All of the schools involved this year have been enthusiastic and hugely supportive of Yellow Day, so we will all be working hard to make it even bigger and better this year.”