The Children's Hour, Ireland's biggest ever fundraising project which was endorsedand supported by the National Millennium Committee, has raised more than £4 million to help children's causes. Everyone in the Irish workforce was asked to donate the value of their final hour's earnings of this millennium to the children of the next. The Government, employers and the trade unions pledged their support to help collect the one hour's wages.
Donations from companies, employees and individuals reached £2.1 million and the National Millennium Committee significantly boosted the fund by making a contribution of £2 million.
Over 3,000 companies participated in the Children's Hour campaign. Employees raised more than £2,000,000 in a spontaneous response to the appeal for all workers to give an hour of their pay to help make a better life in the new Millennium for children and young people.
The proceeds of the Children's Hour are being shared equally between the National Children's Trust, the Irish Youth Foundation and five designated charities-Barnardos, Focus Ireland, Temple Street Children's Hospital, National Youth Federation and the Irish Children's Museum.
Overall it is expected that at least 100 causes dedicated to the care, protection and promotion of children and teenagers will benefit from the allocation of the funds.
The announcement of the amount raised and its allocation was made jointly by Mr. Bill Cullen, Chairman of the Children's Hour and Minister Séamus Brennan T.D., Chairman of the National Millennium Committee, at a reception in the O'Reilly Hall, UCD.
Minister Brennan said: "The Millennium Committee is proud to be supporting such a worthy initiative with an award of £2, 000,000. What could be more appropriate as we take our first steps into the new Millennium than to share in a wish to give to give every child in Ireland the basic right to enjoy a happy, healthy, safe and fulfilling future? The money raised by the Children's Hour initiative will not solve all the difficulties children face but it will make an important contribution towards helping to tackle the problems of homelessness, isolation and neglect." The proceeds of the Children's Hour have been divided into three equal parts and allocated to-
- Five Designated Charities
- The National's Children's Trust
- The Irish Youth Foundation