Spar gets smart to help ‘Make-A-Wish’

Spar is currently trialling an innovative digital ‘Smart Poster’ collection solution in its Roscommon based stores that allows customers to donate to the company’s official charity partner Make-A-Wish Ireland via their mobile telephones.

Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people don’t carry cash anymore, which has had a devastating effect on the charity sector with in-person donations at an all-time low. This is particularly significant for Make-A-Wish Ireland as the charity does not receive any government funding and is dependent on donations from the public and the support of partners like Spar to continue granting wishes.

The new technology, Strike Pay, is a portable personal payment tech designed to make paying convenient, safe, and easy for all.

Using this contactless technology, customers in Spar stores across Ireland can now simply tap their smart phones on the special posters and a web page is opened on their device. The customer can then choose to donate directly to Make-A-Wish using the Apple or Android Pay capability on their phone or input their debit/card details directly.

As part of this innovative initiative, Spar will publicly campaign for people to openly embrace technology that facilitates cashless charitable giving, to safeguard the viability of critical charities across the country. As a result of reduced in person charitable giving due to the Covid-19, it is estimated that Irish charities could have lost out on as much as €500 million over the last 15 months.

Susan O’Dwyer, Chief Executive of Make-A-Wish Ireland, said: “Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our wish-granting and fundraising activities. This has resulted in planned wishes having to be rescheduled and re-imagined and we currently have more than 200 seriously ill children waiting for their wishes to be granted.

“Now more than ever, these children need what Make-A-Wish can bring in the form of hope, strength, and joy. We are so grateful for the ongoing support of SPAR and by deploying this innovative Strike technology in their stores, hopefully the public will react positively and donate using the posters”.

Colin Donnelly, Spar Sales Director said: “Over the last 15 months we have seen a big decline in the number of people carrying cash in our stores and this has impacted the charity sector particularly badly. As Spar’s official Charity partner, we are passionate about supporting the Make-A-Wish mission and are delighted to trial this innovative technology in our stores, which is a great example of how technology is playing a role in helping society one tap at a time. Helping make these sick children’s wishes come true is a way to give them hope and strength for their individual journeys and Spar is proud to play whatever part we can”.

Since adopting Make-A-Wish as Spar’s official charity partner in 2019, Spar Retailers have engaged in a number of initiatives designed to raise awareness and funds for the worthy charity and in the last two years have raised nearly €300,000.

Spar has also announced that it is extending its partnership for a third year. As well as the new in-store donation capability, Spar will continue to make a contribution from the sale of selected own brand products and, Covid-19 restrictions allowing, a number of fundraising activities later this year and into 2022.