• Intel Ireland has selected Irish Autism Action and the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation as its 2014 Signature Charities
• Employees will engage in a series of different activities and events throughout the year to raise awareness and fund for the signature charities
• Over €62,000 was raised in 2013 for the Intel Ireland signature charities which were the ISPCC and Irish Hospices.
Deeply embedded in the Intel culture is a passion for community involvement, for volunteering and for supporting charities in both the communities where we work and where we live.
Each year Intel Ireland selects two signature charities in order to give employees the opportunity to dedicate their efforts towards providing volunteer time and funds, raised through specially organised activities, to these chosen organisations.
For 2014, Irish Autism Action and the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation were selected and last week at the Intel campus in Leixlip a special event was held to launch the 2014 campaign and to invite employees to hear more about the wonderful work undertaken by each of the organisations.
Employees will engage in a series of different activities and events throughout the year to raise awareness and funds for the signature charities – these events include the annual Intel Charity cycle, 5km fun run, coffee morning and family day to name a few.
The event included presentations to employees by Irish Autism Action CEO Kevin Whelan and Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation CEO Johnathan Irwin who both shared with employees their stories of how the charities had been formed and the kinds of services and supports that they provide to people across Ireland today.
Love / Hate star Laurence Kinlan, who plays the character of Elmo, also attended the event as he is a supporter and ambassador of the Irish Autism Action Charity.
Eamonn Sinnott, General Manager of Intel Ireland, officially launched the 2014 campaign and said “In 2014 Intel celebrates 25 years of operating in Ireland, a very special milestone for us, and over the past 25 years we have developed I believe a proud history of volunteering and supporting charities. We are delighted for Intel to this year be partnering with Jack and Jill and Irish Autism Action– charities that are both doing fantastic work and I am looking forward to the year ahead working together with you both”.
Intel has a unique initiative, the Matching Grants Program, which recognises and motivates Intel employees to engage in outreach and volunteerism by providing a cash grant to the schools, charities and other non-profit organisations where they volunteer their time. The grants are accrued based on the number of hours that are volunteered by Intel employees at organisations which are registered as part of the program. Both of the 2014 signature charities will benefit as part of this program as employees engage in volunteer activities in support of both Irish Autism Action and the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation.
Intel Ireland employees have a long tradition of community engagement with more than 50,000 volunteer hours being recorded in 2013 by Ireland employees. In addition to this volunteer time, over €62,000 was raised for our signature charities last year which were the ISPCC and Irish Hospices.
General Manager at Intel Ireland, Eamonn Sinnott, Love/Hate star, actor Laurence Kinlan, Jonathan Irwin from the Jack and Jill Children’s foundation and Kevin Whelan CEO of Irish Autism Action are pictured at the Intel campus in Leixlip for the official launch of the 2014 Signature Charity campaign
Further images can be found here: Site Signature Charity Launch 2014 – a set on Flickr
About Irish Autism Action
Irish Autism Action is a young dynamic, innovative and passionate organisation formed in 2001 which is bringing positive change into the lives of those affected by autism. The range of services which Irish Autism Action provides includes awareness raising, early detection diagnosis, education support, advocacy, counselling, helpline, home based support, transition planning, social housing, research information and advice for families upon receiving diagnosis.
Irish Autism Action is an umbrella organisation with over 40 member groups and also individual members. Our members range from the 13 Special Schools for Children with Autism to local support groups and are located in practically every county in Ireland. We have set up Ireland’s first National Diagnostic and Assessment Centre known as Solas which is based in Dublin. In April 2009 we launched our National Autism Helpline which is operated by parents. It is Ireland’s first autism helpline which provides impartial and confidential information, advice and support for people with an autistic spectrum disorder, their families and professionals.
About the Jack and Jill Foundation
The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation was established by Johnathan Irwin and his wife Mary Ann, as a result of their experiences following the birth of their son Jack in 1997. Due to complications shortly after birth, Jack developed severe brain-damage, which left him without sight or hearing, and unable to swallow. Shockingly, Irwin was advised by medical practitioners to abandon him in hospital. After ignoring that advice, they found themselves effectively abandoned instead, with no support-system in place to help them care for Jack at home.
The family suffered unimaginable trauma, and encountered a series of bureaucratic obstacles, before an offer of help from a retired nurse provided an inspirational catalyst which sustained them through the remaining months of their son’s short life. Other nurses became involved with Jack’s care, and out of the seeds of family anguish, fresh hopes grew for others.
The organisation campaigns energetically to improve services for young children with disabilities, but Irwin admits that progress towards reform of the system has been slow. The triumph of Jack and Jill has been in the practical arena, providing an invaluable network of support for individual families under its wing.
Since 1997,the Foundation has supported 1600 families throughout Ireland. It has raised €36 million from the Private Sector while receiving €4.5 million from the Irish Health Service. Awards received include Charity of the Year 2003, Irish Personality of the Year 2004, Irish Fundraiser of 2011 and Global Fundraiser of 2011.
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