With Ireland’s history of emigration, this isn’t the first time distance has divided us. But, like countless times in the past, extraordinary people have stepped up to innovate, create and bring communities together.
For hundreds of years, Irish people have succeeded despite the struggles facing them. Since 2016, EPIC has been sharing their stories of kindness and resilience. Now, we want to record the positive impact Irish people are having at home and abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic. These stories will become part of an upcoming exhibition. Here is a taste of some of the inspiring people we’ve come across so far.
The ‘One Community’ Initiative – Leeds
From GAA clubs to golf societies, more than a dozen Irish groups in Leeds have come together to help the vulnerable in their community. Volunteers are dropping off shopping, medicine and pen pal letters from local children.
What started with 20 GAA players has turned into a group of over 100 volunteers – and their efforts have inspired similar initiatives around the UK. The group is also working to deliver hot meals and ‘craic packs’ full of Irish goods, newspapers and quizzes. Click here to read more.
Thanks to all the children at @CCPrimaryLeeds for helping to spread positivity & love with their messages of encouragement for our friends keeping safe by self-isolating. Any other schools interested in sharing positive messages for service users, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. pic.twitter.com/Tb5FNSSzHI
— Leeds Irish Health and Homes (@leedsirish) April 11, 2020
In March, businessman Neil Sands generously tweeted out an offer to fly two doctors home to Ireland so they could fight the pandemic on the frontlines. His tweet quickly went viral and a new movement began. Since then, many people have donated to the GoFundMe page and many healthcare workers who were backpacking across the world have returned home to help. Click here to read more.
As an Irish business owner, I am willing to fly 2 doctors home to #ireland from anywhere abroad, and house them in Dublin for the next 12 weeks. Who’s with me? (please retweet) DM me if you know someone interested. Thank you #irelandvscovid #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/4sgMPs3e7j
— Neil O. Sands (@neilosands) March 25, 2020
MyFrontlineHero.org shines a spotlight on Americans who are working through the Covid-19 pandemic. Anyone can nominate their hero, whether they’re frontline staff or supporting others during this difficult time.
Set up by the Milwaukee Irish Fest and digital agency Northwood, these heroes will appear on the website for now. Then, at next year’s Irish Fest, a special ceremony and private concert will recognize the great work they’ve done. Click here to read more.
As a pregnant Radiology RN, Taylor must take extra precautions to protect two lives, adding another level of stress to an already stressful situation. Thank you, Taylor, for your selfless efforts! Read the rest of Taylor's story at https://t.co/iwlpTjZUDy. #myfrontlinehero pic.twitter.com/yBMFEFMJCB
— My Frontline Hero (@myfrontlinehero) May 4, 2020
Last month, Belfast musician Cormac Crummey assembled nearly three dozen talented Irish musicians and dancers for an awesome collaboration from their own homes.
The tune cheered the spirits of people around the world reaching the number one spot on the iTunes World Charts. The song came with a message of hope and more are currently in the pipeline. Click here to find out more.
Over the years, the small businesses at the heart of New York’s Irish-American neighbourhoods consistently supported good causes in the local community. Now, the businesses struggling amid the current crisis are receiving financial support from the Irish community through Sláinte 2020. This collective of long-established Irish organisations was set up to offer support to anyone in need. Financial assistance and job search resources are also available to individuals. Click here to read more.