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The work of volunteers is central to Trócaire’s work and allows us to continue to support communities around the world. Pat McQuaid from Dungannon shares her experience.
Dungannon native Pat McQuaid began volunteering with Trócaire over a decade ago. Her love for teaching overlapped with Trócaire’s work and led Pat to become a fundraiser and advocate on global justice and humanrights.
Pat said that the people of Dungannon were very supportive of her fundraising and advocacy work, which grew from strength to strength over the years.
“It all began through selling Trócaire’s Christmas Gifts of Love in my local shopping centre in Dungannon. I was there for the weekend and interest in the Gifts grew and grew,” Pat said.
The following year, a few students from a local school in Dungannon joined Pat and the popularity of the Christmas Gifts of Love grew even further.“
The kindness from the community was overwhelming. One little girl donated all her Confirmation money to Trócaire. Students who were involved in the John Paul II Awards joined me, distributing leaflets and using collection boxes. In the last couple of years, dozens of volunteers have also done bag packing to raise funds.”
During a particularly quiet March in Dungannon, Pat decided to organise a special event to raise money for Trócaire.
“With the help and advice of musicians and other talented people, we managed to organise a Trad for Trócaire evening, that we continued for many years that generated a lot of funds. This embraced three generations performing together with the majority of artists coming from less than a five-mile radius from the venue.”
Pat said she enjoys all aspects of being a Trócaire volunteer from talking in schools or mass, collecting cheques or speaking as a guest on prize giving nights.
“My Trócaire journey so far has been amazing. It has been so rewarding and inspirational to meet such wonderful people, particularly the late Sally O’Neill. The dedication, commitment, sincerity and hard work ofeveryone who works in Trócaire is so heartening and impressive. I thank God for the support of my family and for all the friendships I have made in the Trócaire family.”
Are you passionate about global justice and human rights? Volunteering with Trócaire is an opportunity to make a positive difference to the world.
Trócaire tackles the root causes of poverty overseas. An important part of our work is raising awareness in Ireland. We want people in Ireland to care about global justice, but also to understand the factors that cause people to live in poverty.
We couldn’t do this without our amazing volunteers.
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering with Trócaire, click here