Cork’s Darkness Into Light events have been postponed due to the current crisis but a new initiative has been launched in place of the scheduled annual fundraising walks.
A Sunrise Appeal has been planned in aid of Pieta House on Saturday, May 9th, when the streets of Cork would usually be filled with thousands of people raising funds for the charity.
People are being asked to watch the sunrise from their homes at 5.30am on the morning of May 9th.
More than 80% of the charity’s funds come from the public who raised over €5 million nationally from the Darkness Into Light events last year.
Cork City South-Central Councillor Mick Finn is on the organising committee of the University College Cork (UCC) and Ballyvolane Darkness Into Light events which attracted thousands of people last year.
This year, vital funds are needed to keep services running for those who are in need during the current Covid-19 crisis.
“Pieta House has to keep running all the time, and probably more so now than ever. Pieta House have come up with the idea of the Sunrise Appeal to take place on the day that the walks would have taken place on May 9th," Cllr Finn said.
“We’re asking people to get up and watch the sunrise at 5.30am because normally people would have started to walk at 4.15am and into the sunlight an hour later. We’re hoping that people may be able to raise funds and maybe come up with novel ideas for this year on how they can continue to support such a vital service to the community.
“Any funding raised is essentially keeping the free service going for people that are using it,” he said.
Darkness Into Light is a major event on Cork’s summer calendar and raised over €1.5 million for Pieta House last year.
Secretary of the Darkness Into Light for UCC and Ballyvolane, Siobhán Soden, said that the event is something which is very close to her heart having lost her brother to suicide 11 years ago.
She said she believes that if Pieta had been in Cork back then, it may have saved her brother.
“It’s so very sad for so many families to have no one to turn to when they need help for a loved one. Pieta is such an important service for so many. They have an amazing service for family members trying to come to terms with the sudden death of a loved one by suicide,” she said.
This year was to be the 10th year of Cork’s Darkness Into Light events and the walk has been rescheduled for October 3rd.
To donate to Pieta House’s Sunrise Appeal, visit https://www.darknessintolight.ie/sunrise-appeal