The evening of 10 April 2016 was a special date in Meath and Kildare diocese. It marked the celebration of its ‘Good for the Sole’ project at a special service in Trim Cathedral. This diocesan project set out to raise €25,000. That target was exceeded as €31,000 was raised across the diocese.
The Good For The Soul project set out to raise enough money to buy 10,000 pairs of sandals in Karigiri in Tamil Nadu, India. The project was run in partnership with The Leprosy Mission Ireland and Bishops’ Appeal.
The Celebration Service in Trim Cathedral was led by Dean Paul Bogle and Bishop Pat Storey, with music provided by the Diocesan Choir. Rev William Steacy (Bishop’s Appeal Diocesan Representative) updated the large congregation on how the fundraising target was exceeded. Ken Gibson (The Leprosy Mission Ireland) talked about how funds raised would make a tangible difference in people’s lives. He also showed how the diocese intends to build on this effort. Prayers were led by Lydia Monds (Bishops’ Appeal).
What inspired people across the dioceses to get involved was the knowledge that something as simple as a pair of sandals could make a positive impact on someone’s life! One of the effects of leprosy is often damage to a person’s feet. The disease causes them to loose sensitivity in this area, making the individual more prone to injury. The Leprosy Mission has been involved in developing a cost-effective sandal that can protect the wearer from such harm. One pair of sandals can be manufactured and distributed at a cost of €2.50.
For the past year parishes and individuals across the dioceses have used great imagination to raise funds – knowing that every Euro would make a difference. Everything from coffee mornings, dances, quizzes and even sponsored dog walking all helped beat the target.
Bishop Pat Storey said, “The Good for the Sole project captured our imagination. The fact that we have exceeded our financial target is the result of an amazing team effort across the diocese. We are all the more encouraged that funds raised will make such a practical difference in people’s lives”. She continued, “I want to pay tribute to The Leprosy Mission Ireland and Bishops’ Appeal. Our partnership with them in this project has been crucial”.
Setting and exceeding the target of raising €25000 marks the end of phase one of the ‘Good for the Sole’ project. Members of the dioceses were struck by how much difference can be made by caring for the feet of those with leprosy. Therefore the dioceses is planning a second phase for the project – raising funds to supply medical intervention to alleviate foot problems in leprosy sufferers. Watch this space for more details … coming soon!