Model and social media star Louise Cooney has helped to raise over €64,000 in aid of Pieta House after launching a fundraising campaign for the charity last weekend.
The Limerick born blogger, who has strong links to Tipperary through her extended family, said she was eager to help the non-profit organisation as she understands first hand the “importance of having access to services like Pieta House.”
“Mental Health is something that’s very close to my heart. Less than a year ago my family went through the heartbreak of suicide so I understand first hand the devastation it brings,” Cooney said in a powerful post on Instagram.
“My aunt, who lost her beautiful son, my cousin Nicky, has very bravely recorded a video to help share this message and raise much needed funds and awareness. I understand during this time people have lost their jobs and are out of work but I would love if you could donate €5 (or whatever you can afford) to this very worthy cause. It really would make such a difference to help everyone at a time when we so need it. Where there is life there is hope,” she added.
Taking to social media, Cooney’s aunt Patrice encouraged members of the public who are feeling anxious or stressed to reach out and ask for help.
“Our story is a devastating one. Our lovely son Nicky died by suicide on August 3 last year and it has left a devastating hole in our family. So please keep communicating and please keep reaching out and keep trying to find the answer to your problem. While there’s life there’s hope,” she urged.
Cheers to €50,000 ❤️ In just over a day, we met our target 10 times over for @PietaHouse. I’m amazed by the generosity, kind words & ability to come together & support eachother in the toughest of times! Thank you ❤️ Please keep donating & sharing: https://t.co/SQ2E9Jy2OE pic.twitter.com/l11JQru5P8— Louise Cooney (@louisecooney_) April 3, 2020
Within hours of the appeal going live, hundreds of people had pledged donations and by Monday evening the campaign had far exceeded its original target - by €57,000.
“I’m amazed by the generosity, kind words and ability to come together and support each other in the toughest of times! Thank you,” said the New York based fashion star.
Pieta House, which relies on events such as Darkness into Light for the majority of its fundraising, say they have experienced a surge in the number of emergency calls since the introduction of social distancing regulations last month.
In 2019 alone, Pieta House answered 13,705 phone calls and replied to 31,139 text messages via their 24 hour helpline services.
Without Darkness Into Light they are asking the public for support to ensure their services can be sustained during this difficult time.
Anyone who wishes to donate to the campaign can do so here.