Make a difference today: donate or volunteer for a good cause

Ciara McDonnell on the individuals and organizations determined to bring about change in people’s lives this Christmas Award-winning florist Maura Sheehy put her talents to good use, creating an online flower arranging class for anyone who wants to create a festive arrangement this Christmas. All proceeds go to the local Palliative Care Unit at University Hospital Kerry. Grow the change

At the beginning of December, Maura Sheehy of Maura’s Cottage Flowers in Tralee decided that she wanted to do something to give back to her community. Creative Christmas Arrangements is an online tutorial created by the award-winning florist, in aid of the local Palliative Care Unit at University Hospital Kerry. It features five festive DIY projects you can do in your own time, in the comfort of your own home.

For a donation of €20, people will receive a link to the 30 minute video, which features projects including a festive table arrangement, an elegant candle arrangement, a floral gift basket and a “living” wreath made with biodegradable materials and flowers that can be replanted in the garden after Christmas. While all the materials used can be purchased locally, they can also be foraged in the garden, woodlands or hedgerows, making each project cost effective, sustainable and eco friendly.

“In my work I strive to be different and to make a difference,” says Maura. “We can all make some changes this Christmas by celebrating nature and making more conscious decisions in how and where we shop, which in turn can make a difference to the environment and indeed our local communities.”

The video “Creative Christmas Arrangements” can be purchased up until 24th December from

These boots were made for walking

If your plan for next year involves getting fit and healthy, then why not raise funds for charities too? Colleagues with a pair of walking boots are being called to take part in an inspirational three-day adventure in the Dingle Peninsula, where the fun will help raise vital funds for butterfly skin charity Debra Ireland.

Running from May 18th to 20th Debra’s Kerry Challenge includes three days of trekking though the beautiful Dingle Peninsula (up to 25km per day) followed by nights of craic in lively Dingle pubs while staying in a four-star luxury hotel.

“The Kerry Challenge is like being invited to an awesome family wedding, it is an event that has real heart and soul and it is ideal for groups of colleagues to really do something different for a weekend,” said Debra Ireland’s Head of Fundraising Judith Gilsenan.

Debra Ireland supports people with EB (epidermolysis bullosa) also known as butterfly skin. This rare and incredible painful genetic condition causes the skin, both inside and out, to blister and wound at the slightest touch.

Debra’s 75km three-day trek, is suitable for everyone from seasoned runners to first-time ramblers. “People laugh their socks off while walking over the beautiful, rugged terrain of South Kerry and the fun continues well into the evening,” said Judith.

“But along with […]

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