US philanthropist in visit to Derry drop-in

American philanthropist Loralee West stopped off in Derry yesterday.
American philanthropist Loralee West stopped off in Derry yesterday.

Loralee West - philanthropist and ambassador for Depaul International - was in Derry yesterday as part of a 1,500 mile road trip to raise money for homeless people worldwide.

The grandmother began her ‘Leap of Faith 2’ in Dublin on June 12 and is travelling on the back of a motorcycle through Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England in a bid to raise $200,000.

Yesterday, Loralee and her team visited the Foyle Haven in Derry - Depaul Ireland’s comprehensive and integrated day service providing support to street drinkers.

In 2010, Loralee West raised more than $100,000 doing a skydive - her ‘Leap of Faith 1.’

She says: “Since my Leap of Faith in 2010 had been to do a parachute jump to raise money for Depaul, we came up with the idea of doing a bike ride in 2012, visiting projects along the way and educating my friends and family on just why I am so passionate about helping Depaul in any way I can.”

In Ireland, Depaul International is represented by a cross border charity, Depaul Ireland, working in Derry, Belfast, Dublin, and Dungannon.

Depaul also addresses homelessness in Britain, the USA, Slovakia, Ukraine and France.

Loralee says: “The Depaul projects are different in every city and country. There are no two alike. That is what impresses me so much about their mission.

“They go into a region and research what the greatest need is for the homeless and work toward making it happen.”