Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for many. But, for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, it can be an incredibly difficult and lonely time.

At ditto, we’re proud to have given our support to Dublin Simon Community, helping the charity to continue its vital fundraising work as it launches a special digital version of its annual 24-hour Carolathon event.

Adapting to the fundraising challenges of 2020

Each Christmas, Dublin Simon Community hosts a variety of fundraisers. And one of its most popular events is the Carolathon, which sees people gather on Grafton Street in Dublin to enjoy 24 hours of music and Christmas cheer. It’s a fixture of the Dublin calendar, and a critical source of funds for the charity.

Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carolathon can’t take place in Dublin as it normally would. Even a socially distanced event is unable to go ahead. Dublin Simon Community has had to further adapt its plans to make sure the fundraiser can happen.

So, for Christmas 2020, the Carolathon has gone digital. In place of Grafton Street, Dublin Simon Community has created an online Festive Hub that gives people everywhere the chance to get involved and support the charity.

Making a real difference through music

Dublin Simon Community and its volunteers might not be able to take to the streets for the Carolathon this year, but that hasn’t stopped the music. This year, artists from across Ireland have come together to share a virtual stage on the Festive Hub and raise funds for the charity.

To make this happen, musicians have volunteered their instruments and their vocal chords. They’ve performed and recorded a selection of songs, creating a heartwarming video gallery that forms this year’s Carolathon. It means the party (and the fundraising) can go on for way longer than 24 hours…

Alongside these videos are some other festive resources, including a handpicked Christmas playlist from Peter Fitzpatrick of Circuit3. There’s also a collection of calming exercises designed to take some of the stress out of the holiday season, kindly donated by Lyreco UK & Ireland from its own Countdown to Christmas campaign.

Supporting those in need this Christmas

Being able to host a digital Carolathon will make a real difference to Dublin Simon Community and its clients.

As a charity that provides essential services to 7,600 individuals and families each year, 2020 has presented the team with major challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for support, at a time when traditional fundraising efforts are more difficult to carry out.

We’re proud to play a role in helping Dublin Simon Community continue its work as it aims to make home a reality for the thousands faced with homelessness across Ireland.

Head over to the Dublin Simon Community Festive Hub to see the 2020 Carolathon and find out how you can give the gift of hope this Christmas: