A homeless charity is appealing with people to leave a legacy gift in their wills to help tackle the homeless crisis.
Focus Ireland is now teamed up with the legal firm www.lawonline.ie to offer people the chance to draft their own will online, free of charge. The charity stressed that people do not have to gift a legacy to Focus Ireland to take up this offer.
Jenny Douglas of Focus Ireland said: “The campaign lets people draft their will free and then they can then have the documents reviewed by one of LawOnline’s solicitors at a significantly reduced fee. Crucially, you do not have to include Focus Ireland in your Will to take advantage of this service.”
Focus Ireland works with the State to deliver homes but the charity also has to raise up to 50% of its annual budget though donations and corporate support so it can help over 14,000 people a year.
Focus Ireland said that it received a total of €704,171 in 2017 through legacies and this accounted for almost 14% of the charity’s fundraising income last year.
The charity said it is working with more people than ever before as nearly 10,000 people are homeless in Ireland. The most recent stats show a 32% rise in family homelessness nationwide from 1,302 in April 2017 to 1,712 in April this year.
Jenny Douglas said: “A simple inspiring gift - modest or large - in your will could change the lives of families facing homelessness and continue the legacy of care and dedication that Sr Stanislaus Kennedy began when she first established Focus Ireland over 30 years ago. Sadly Focus Ireland’s work is needed now more than every with nearly 10,000 people homeless. It is heart-breaking to think that one in three of the people who are homeless is a child.”
She added: “A legacy is such an amazing gift for people to leave in their will. The gift of helping a person or family to escape from homelessness and to secure a place to call home with the help of Focus Ireland.” Jenny explained that any gift in a will can help Focus Ireland’s work as it provides a place to call home for nearly 1,000 households around the country."
She added: “Any gift left in a will, be it big or small will help us to support more families and individuals who are homeless or at risk. We are asking people - once they have taken care of family and friends - that they consider leaving a gift to Focus Ireland and those who depend on our services across Ireland.”
Focus Ireland supporter Maureen Devany explained why she has decided to leave a legacy to charity.
She said: “I do what I can for a couple of charities now. But I love the idea that I can continue to do that after I pass – which I hope won’t be for a long time yet. That’s why I’m pledging to Focus Ireland that I’ll leave them an affordable sum in my will. I suppose that when I eventually do move on, I see it as a kind of ‘going home’. So it’s all the more appropriate that I can help the most vulnerable people, families and children ‘go home’ too.”
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