A fuchsia badge, costing €2, will be on sale this month, with the proceeds going to the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women (One) which provides accommodation and assistance for former members at a centre in Letterkenny.
The national fundraiser will also help run centres in Dublin city and Athlone.
The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lt-Gen Sean McCann, launched ONE’s Fuchsia Appeal 2012. The funds raised will be used by O.N.E. to assist former members of the Defence Forces who have fallen on hard times. Since 1994, when O.N.E. built its first facility at Queens St, Dublin; over 550 former ex-servicemen have been provided with a place to stay and many others have been assisted in various ways.
O.N.E. needs over €600,000 annually to run its current facilities for former members in Dublin, Athlone and Letterkenny The organisation is currently providing accommodation for up to 40 former Defence Force members.
O.N.E.’s overall objective is to ensure the welfare of ex-servicemen and women. Some are homeless, some with disability and many are elderly. We also promote a spirit of comradeship between serving and retired members, as well as providing information on pensions, social welfare and other entitlements.
Ollie O Connor, Chief Executive of O.N.E. said today, “The Fuchsia appeal is of critical importance to the organisation. It enables us to help former colleagues who are having a difficult time and without a home. Many of these people gave outstanding service to the State and to the United Nations and for one reason or another have not been able to make ends meet, since leaving the service.
“The three homes do not just provide accommodation, but also an opportunity to meet and socialise with others who had served. This we feel is important. Most of the people who spend time with us move on to independent living, after a period of time with support and comradeship”
The Fuchsia was chosen as the emblem, as part of the launch of the first appeal in 2007. It was chosen, as it is grown throughout Ireland and was seen as a reminder of home when seen overseas. The Fuchsia badge is sold as part of the fundraising initiative and under the emblem is stamped the word ‘Cuimhnímis’,(let us remember) in remembrance of those have served and the many who have given their lives while serving.
The O.N.E., with the support of Limerick City Council, is currently in the process of refurbishing a premises in Limerick City which will be used as a drop in centre, where veterans can go for advice, to meet former comrades or just to have a cup of tea in a friendly environment. This project will act as a prototype for further service provision to ex-service personnel.
The Fuchsia 2012 appeal will run throughout July and further details can be found on www.oneconnect.ie .Tags: