Hibernian Hunger Project Awards

An Gorta Mor Award

APPLICATION

Hibernian Hunger Project of the Ancient Order of Hibernians

Funded Through the Hibernian Charity

“The An Gorta Mor Awards were created by The Ancient Order of Hibernians in America’s Hibernian Charity to honor the people of Ireland who survived the Great Hunger and initiated the Irish Diaspora, those who were forced to flee Ireland, in our case to North America, to survive the starvation and disease.  It is our belief that no other people on earth have more awareness or empathy for those in need than the Irish and the foundation of the Irish Diaspora, the members of the A.O.H.”

 

Eligibility for Award:

  1. An AOH Division or Board which sponsors or leads a project which aids others in greater need than ourselves.
  2. These projects may aid the homeless, those in need, the elderly, veterans, children, etc.
  3. The board applicant must have paid their division per capita and submitted their form #9 to the National Secretary in a timely manner for their application to be eligible to apply for the 2014 awards.
  4. The Awards will be assessed each quarter and a $500.00 grant will be issued to the division/board to be used to initiate funding for the division or boards Hunger Project or to continue the present project in 2014
  5. Each Calendar Quarter the Hibernian Charity Board will make the grants and the recipient division/board will not be eligible for another grant for thirty-six months
  6. The recipient division will be required to send 4-6 pictures of the event which will then be publicized in The Hibernian Digest and the Irish Echo at the end of each month or bi-monthly. We would also encourage that the project be given local publicity and state wide if possible. The pictures and accomplishments will be advertised on our AOH and Hibernian Charity Web Sites.
  7. Eligible projects should be in the division/boards local jurisdiction but the proceeds can be sent to a larger national charity if that is your stated goal.
  8. County and Division Boards are eligible for An Gorta Mor Awards

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION

Director Charles ‘Chip’ McLean

The three “H’s” of the summer: hazy, hot and humid have wrapped their arms around most of us throughout the country.  This combined with our State Boards’ convening  their biennial State Conventions along with our families trying to fit in some quality vacation time makes for a very busy time for Hibernianism.

Best wishes to all of our State Boards as they gather to conduct the business of our Order with members of their individual States. Owing to the fact that I will not be able to attend as many State Conventions as I would like to as your Hibernian Hunger  Chairman I would ask that each of our State leaders include in their dialogue at State Conventions the topic of a feeding ministry in their local communities. Those jurisdictions that already have an active program underway can share the details of the program and even the challenges that faced them when initiating these programs. Each local jurisdiction then is asked to develop a feeding ministry. These ministries can range from arranging for work crews comprised of members of our Order staffing soup kitchens that are already established by various food pantries or physically soliciting food stuffs from businesses or private donors to be given to either soup kitchens or food pantries run by anyone of our local parishes, to even holding dedicated annual fundraisers where the profits are dedicated as a yearly donation to support any specific food pantries.

During these summer months donations to these pantries dip to a desperate low. It is challenging for these pantries to continue to provide services to those in need. Those folks who are in need will be in the communities throughout those ‘hazy, hot and humid’ days since it is likely they will not be able to get away to the shore as they are in desperate need to feed their families. Those of us who are fortunate to vacation and leave our local communities for periods of time should make some consideration to providing for these needy ministries. The times of the year when we least think about the hungry in our community are usually the times when the supplies at the pantries need to be supplemented by our contributions.

I would once again ask all of those jurisdictions that do have some sort of activity in place that directly provides for the hungry to make me aware of them. Please e-mail me (charles.mclean@aoh.com) with as much information that you can regarding the details of how you came to develop what you do and how you keep the members interested in continuing to support the program.

It is my intent to share as much of this with our members in this article and in the space provided to my committee on the electronic/on-line Hibernian Digest. In showcasing your particular Division or County Bd’s activity it will encourage and educate other jurisdictions toward either starting a program or advancing any program that may already be in place. Please do not be concerned about how basic or simple your program is, if it is effective it can be helpful to our Brothers in the work that they will be doing in the name of feeding the hungry.

National Director’s Work

As National Director I am very pleased to report that I attended all of the County Board Conventions and conducted or participated in all of the Installations of County Officers within the geographic area that our National President assigned me to. At two of the Counties I was very pleased to be assisted by the recently elected New York State President Jim Burke. The installed Presidents are as follows: John Hurley (Suffolk), Sean O’Rourke (Nassau), John Manning (Queens), John O’Farrell (Kings), Marty Crimmins (Richmond), Tom Beirne (New York), Bob Nolan (Bronx). Best wishes to all of the officers who were elected to the various County Boards throughout our Order.

Congratulations and all the best to the newly elected State Board officers who have been and are being elected to state-wide office. I would ask all of the newly elected State Presidents to e-mail me your contact info at your earliest convenience. I am at your disposal for any assistance you may need in the performance of your duties as well as working with you all to continue to educate our membership on An Gorta Mor and developing or advancing feeding ministries at your local levels.

Director Chip McLean

As we have arrived in a New Year I hope this issue of the Hibernian Digest finds you and all of your family well and ready for a fresh start. There are many challenges that face us all as an Order as well as a people. The blatant attack on our faith abounds in our country as well as in many individual states, the likes of which we have never seen before in the history of our nation. The continued financial challenges that face all of us, whether we are retired or are still working, speak directly to our personal ability to continue great charity that is a hallmark of our genetic makeup. But Brothers, I am confident that if we bind together fraternally, as a group in the form of our Order we will be able deliver on our motto of “…Christian Charity”.

As we enter into our ‘green season’ or the ‘High Holy Day’ we can anticipate many activities surrounding such. As you are aware the Feast Day of our Patron Saint is on a Sunday this year and that will mean a very different schedule of events; and in some cases more events and in some less. I am asking that each and every jurisdiction take the opportunity of the St. Patrick’s Day season to remember and expand our feeding ministry.

What a great opportunity it would be that at every dance or hoolie, every mass or parade, every historical exhibit that may be set up or presented live by our members we seize the opportunity to do three things. First, we educate: educate the public as well as our members of the Great Hunger and the significance it held for the Irish as a people. Secondly: we gather food, whether it be in the form of a direct collection of non-perishable food items donated by attendees or a monetary collection that can later be donated to local food pantries, particularly in those parishes that need our support. And thirdly, arrange an opportunity for our members to help staff a soup kitchen or physically perform support work for a food pantry or soup kitchen sometime during the month of March. This is the time for your local Hunger Chairmen to reach out in the community and contact any of the feeding ministries that are active and make an offer of workers, Hibernian workers, to come forward on an arranged day and time and directly feed the hungry. It gives our members the opportunity to donate sweat equity and put our shoulder behind our words.

And as I’ve asked before please notify me by e-mail or otherwise and outline of your feeding ministries so that they can be shared with others to give them ideas and motivation to initiate or expand their own programs.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Brothers and Sisters who have donated to the Sandy Relief Fund. Many, many jurisdictions have made sizeable donations but what is helping to bolster the fund are individual contributions of the 10’s and 20’s and 50’s from the members themselves. If every member were to donate as little as $5 we would have a significant amount to pass onto those of our Order in need. If you haven’t done so by now, or even if you have, do it again, a lot of little ones add up! You can donate as easily as using the aoh.com website and click on the donate now button. Thank you so much, it is very much appreciated by the members who have filed for relief. As a member of the Relief Fund Committee I can assure you that we are working diligently to aid as many members as possible. To date we have either distributed initial aid or are in the process of making initial awards to all who have applied. What is now very important is that all members are aware that we have asked those who are requesting aid file their application by March 1st. After the initial awards are made we will revisit the applications to make subsequent awards to those in dire need as far as the funds collected allow us. So please realize that the donations should carry on, please.

Congratulations to all of the recently installed officers throughout the Order and best wishes on a successful administration. Please feel free to contact me for any support you may need. All the best for a very enjoyable “marching season” and …May the wind be at your backs and the sun shine warm upon your face. Remember, to include our faith and St. Patrick in all dignified celebrations. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and your families.

Take action on the Hibernian Hunger Project

Brother Hibernians, “The An Gorta Mor Awards were created by The Hibernian Charity of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America to honor the people of Ireland who survived the Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora, those who were forced to flee Ireland, in our case to North America, to survive the starvation and disease.  It is our belief that no other people on earth have more awareness or empathy for those in need than the Irish and the foundation of the Irish Diaspora, the members of the A.O.H.” Please send a email to me at eddoc215@verizon.net and I will be glad to send you the An Gorta Mor Application.

Today, the Hibernian Hunger Project delivers meals, canned goods and monetary donations to local food banks, senior centers, churches, and homeless shelters, and links with social service agencies to distribute the food. Also, the project is helping with Veterans Centers in some areas with clothing and canned good drives.

Also, the National Board has established the Hibernian Charity to aid worthy projects and is exempt from all Federal Income Tax under section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Hibernian Hunger Project continues to grow and help the less fortunate regardless of race, religion or point of national origin. The Hibernian Hunger Project is a way for our members to honor our Irish ancestors who gave us a lasting legacy of generosity for those in greater need than ourselves. It is with continued support of our membership that the Project will grow with every coming year and become one of our proud hallmarks of Friendship, Unity and Christian charity.

“We are thousands strong and can make a difference.”

 

Hibernian Charity

It is important that the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America maintain a very active charitable arm for our fraternal organization, the Hibernian Charity. This enables us to raise funds, under the Federal Tax Code, that are tax deductible for those whom make the donation or a 501(c)3. The Charity has been in existence since 2004 and funded relief funds to both AOH and LAOH members after Katrina in New Orleans, as well as annual undertakings such as Project St. Patrick and the Irish Awards for National History Day.

The Charity has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities that are specific to our membership and the goals of our Order. These contributions and donations have brought honor and recognition to our membership and our fraternity of brothers.


Hurricane Katrina Disaster Funds
were distributed to AOH and LAOH Members as well as to Catholic schools in New Orleans in 2004 and 2005; those funds were gathered by the Hibernian Charity. Our first undertaking was to raise these funds and distribute them to our members who were struck by the disaster in New Orleans — even today one of our finest moments.

Project St. Patrick Funds have been collected annually and distributed by a joint committee of the AOH/LAOH and in 2005 these contributions were moved under the 501(c)3 umbrella to allow contributors to take advantage of the tax deductions toward this very worthy cause protecting our Catholic Church. The stipend is a direct contribution to the person with the religious vocation fulfilling our goal of preserving our faith.

Educational and Irish Heritage Projects:

National History Day: The annual history competition finals are judged by our National Historian and a Committee from the AOH/LAOH at the University of Maryland. They review projects and presentations by Middle and High School Students from across the nation on an Irish history theme. First Prize is two round-trip tickets to Ireland or $1,500.00 along with a gold medal. A $1,000.00 Scholarship Assistance Award and silver medal for second place is provided by the Ladies AOH.

National Conference of the Social Studies: We purchase a booth at the annual convention of NCSS and the National Historians Office provides educational material to Social Studies teachers from across America to encourage and augment the teaching of Irish contributions to America in our nation’s classrooms.

Study Abroad: Scholarships ($500.00) to children or grandchildren of AOH members if they wish to continue their College studies for a semester in Ireland

Irish Way: Two Scholarships for our member’s children or grandchildren to participate in the Irish emersion project to attend summer school and live with an Irish family for several weeks each summer.

Hibernian Hunger Projects: Encouraging our Divisions and Boards throughout the nation to undertake projects to help those in greater need in their area, and to do so in the memory of those who suffered in Ireland’s Great Hunger that so shaped, indeed created, the Irish Diaspora.

Extra Projects:

Rosaries for the Troops: Created by the Connecticut State Board to make sure that any soldier who would like a Rosary will be supplied with one at no cost.

Medal of Honor Grove: Donations to maintain all the groves at the Freedom’s Foundation in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. One monument, donated by the Irish Government and the AOH, is dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients who died without establishing a residence in the United States and were unlisted on the other state monuments in the park.  Most were Irish..

Commodore John Barry Project: This is a new project of tremendous importance to our Order to create a permanent Commodore John Barry memorial and gate and at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland. More information will be released on this project soon.

 

These and other endeavors are eligible for donations under our Hibernian Charity 501(c)3 Organization and this allows those missions to have their donors receive a tax deduction for their donations.

If you wish information to seek donations for your project under our Hibernian Charity 501(c)3 umbrella please contact us to discover if you may be eligible. Please donate generously to our Hibernian Charity, take advantage of the companies you work for that may match your donations, and make us aware of potential donors. Donations also may be made from your estate, please contact us for more information.

Please make all our members aware that the Hibernian Charity represents all of our members and benefits our divisions and projects.  Donations can be made and more information can be found at www.HibernianCharity.org.

 

Hibernian Hunger Project

As we celebrate the holiday season, please remember to help support your local parish Church food pantries, volunteer some time at local food banks or senior centers, or do a clothing drive to help homeless shelters.  Also check to see if some of your own members may need support during these difficult economic times.  Please remember that the Hunger Project is a way for AOH members to honor our Irish ancestors who gave us a lasting legacy of generosity for those in greater need than ourselves. It is with continued support of our membership that the Project keeps growing with every coming year and has become one of our proud hallmarks of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. Thank you for your continued support of the Hibernian Hunger Project.

Hibernian Hunger Project

Brother Hibernians, as many of us make vacation plans or our travel arrangements to the National Convention in Cincinnati, please remember to take part in the worldwide effort by the Irish Government which has declared May 16, 2010, as National Famine Memorial Day. Throughout the world ceremonies will be held to commemorate those who died or were forced to leave Ireland during the Great Hunger of 1845-1850.  Our National Order is encouraging local participation by all AOH and LAOH Divisions, State and Counties Boards in the form of volunteerism. Last year many Hibernians took part in Masses to remember An Gorta Mor, the Great Hunger.

Today, the Hibernian Hunger Project delivers meals, canned goods, and monetary donations to local food banks, senior centers, churches, and homeless shelters, and links with social service agencies to distribute the food. Also, the project is helping with Veterans Centers in some areas with clothing and canned good drives.

Also, the National Board has established the Hibernian Charity to aid such worthy projects and is exempt from all Federal Income Tax under section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.  If no special event is planned in your jurisdiction, a donation to the Hibernian Charity can be your tribute to their memory.  The Hibernian Hunger Project continues to grow and help the less fortunate regardless of race, religion or point of national origin. The Hibernian Hunger Project is a way for our members to honor our Irish ancestors who gave us a lasting legacy of generosity for those in greater need than ourselves. It is with continued support of our membership that the Project will grow with every coming year and become one of our proud hallmarks of Friendship, Unity and Christian charity.

“We are thousands strong and can make a difference.”