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Gerry, pictured centre, recently used one of his Sodexo volunteering days to add to the €2,300 he has already raised since March 2016.

Gerry's Rwada lifeline

Time 837 days ago Comments 0 comments

Facilities manager Gerry Furlong has put his passion for cleanliness to a good cause in 208 by helping two struggling families in Rwanda.

Gerry, who has run Sodexo’s FM contract at Kildare Town Community School for four years, raises money from local businesses who sponsor his voluntary litter-picking around the streets of his home town, Portlaoise.

The money raised goes to Limerick-based charity Bóthar, which is part of a community of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) using livestock in development aid to enable families and communities worldwide to overcome hunger and poverty, and to restore the environment in a sustainable way.

Gerry, pictured centre, recently used one of his Sodexo volunteering days to add to the €2,300 he has already raised since March 2016. “Following a super day, I have increased this to over €3,500 and rising,” said a delighted Gerry, who explained that he first came up with the idea of picking up litter from the streets of Portlaoise after he’d heard the authorities had collected 10 tonnes of it.

He had seen the problem with his own eyes during his daily 4km walk with his two dogs and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Now, with the backing of Bóthar, local businesses are approached to make donations in support of Gerry’s civic pride.

“Last year I got nominated for an environmental award as an unsung hero, although I didn’t win it,” he said.

Bóthar’s marketing manager, Kate Finucane, said: “Gerry has sent a cow and a goat to two separate struggling families in Rwanda. Receiving the gift of an Irish dairy cow or goat is like winning the lotto for a family who has little or no hope of making ends meet.”

Gerry said the charity had struck a chord with him because he comes from a family of 18 who lived on a farm in County Wexford.

If anyone would like to show their support for Gerry, it’s easy to donate:

  • Call (00353) 1850 82 99 99 and quote code 747 Gerry Furlong,
  • Donate online at <click on Gerry’s Litter Drive> or
  • Post your donation, marking it 747, to Bóthar, FREEPOST, Old Clare Street, Limerick.

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