With Communions and Confirmations on the cards once more for 2021 in Ireland, group collecting platform Collection Pot is offering a new way for friends and family to give monetary gifts digitally.
A Twitter announcement from Taoiseach Micheál Martin on the 6th March offered cautious optimism for Ireland, reporting that over half a million doses has been administered since the first vaccination was given to Dubliner Annie Lynch. The 14 day incidence level fell below 200 in March for the first time since Christmas, accompanied by a steady decline in case numbers.
In December, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Denis Nulty, suggested a timeline of May for First Communions and the beginning of June for Confirmations. In February 2021, Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell advised that there would be no celebration of Confirmations in the Diocese before Easter, with priority for those having to postpone sacraments in 2020, followed by Confirmation for children in sixth class, then children for First Holy Communion.
Collection Pot launched in Ireland in 2020, offering a digital means of gathering money for all types of home and workplace occasions. People set up Pots and invite others to contribute digitally, including a personal message. By selecting ‘Ireland’ when they create a Pot, users can both donate and check out in Euros.
Once the Pot closes, it can be redeemed in a variety of ways, including One4all Gift Cards, Penney’s Gift Cards and local Town and City Gift Cards. For families of children making Communion or being Confirmed, withdrawing the amount gifted to an Irish Visa debit card could allow parents to put the money aside for their child’s future.
An Ulster Bank survey of 2020 found that the average amount of money received by children making their Communion was €588, a reduction of €29 on 2019.
The majority of parents used the event of a Communion as an opportunity to start financial education, with 93% talking to children about how the money might be spent and 83% putting at least some of the money into an account in the child’s name for their future. Children were typically allowed to spend one quarter of the money.
“Making a Communion or getting Confirmed is an important event for children and is often the first time that they start to be aware of money and the concept of saving and spending,” said Wendy Carter, founder of Collection Pot.
“Confirmations and Communions are likely to be smaller this year and perhaps not everyone may be able to attend, but family and friends may still wish to mark the occasion with a small financial gift. Collection Pot allows that to happen in a covid secure way with the personal touch of adding a message.
“What some parents may choose to do is to allow their child to withdraw some of the money to a gift card for them to spend, and withdraw the rest to their own Visa debit card- ready for transferring into a child’s bank account. Confirmation is an important event in a child’s life, and we’re pleased to be a part of that journey.”
Whilst many Confirmations and Communions were postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, figures show that the 14,948 children were confirmed by the Archdiocese of Dublin in 2019, slightly down on 2018 figures of 15,293, across its 197 parishes.