Two Laois children who were selling eggs through an honesty box scheme to raise funds for the Laura Lynn foundation have had to give up their venture after their eggs and money were stolen four times.
Liam (11) and Sophie (10) Ellis set up the Ellis Eggs initiative last year giving half the proceeds to the Laura Lynn children’s hospice. Their first attempt raised €600 they told RTÉ Radio’s News at One. Liam explained that they used an honesty box for people to leave payment for the eggs which they expected to sell to friends and neighbours.
“We kind of had the idea to sell them to the neighbours. We didn’t want to keep all the money to ourselves so we decided to give it to charity. The first time we raised €600 and we gave half the money to Laura Lynn.”
Eventually the siblings went on to raise €3,000 for the charity. They were surprised with the success. “It was just a little business,” said Liam. During the summer last year the hens “were laying like mad”, said Sophie. “We were getting around 60 eggs a day.” Following the first robbery the enterprising duo installed a box with a slit for the money, but that was also broken into.
“They must have got a hammer, and they kind of made it dented, and they got all the money out of there,” said Sophie. Last week 23 boxes of eggs were stolen in the fourth robbery after which the family decided to stop the initiative.
A witness took a picture of the number plate of the car being driven by the thieves so they are hopeful that gardaí can solve the case. Liam and Sophie’s mother, Caitríona, said that their friends and neighbours had been fantastic in their support which had taken away some of the sting of having to end the fund raising effort.
“Everyone’s so thoughtful and kind. There have been constant messages all morning and last night we kind of let people know that we cannot just continue and it was just amazing the support. Everybody loves the eggs. Everybody loves being able to get them. So if they want us to try and continue in some way, hopefully we’ve got a new plan. It was disappointing for it to be happening so often now.
“There’s a lot of hens, so there’s a lot of work involved. They do get some help from their daddy, but the daily job, feeding them every morning and collecting eggs and cleaning and getting them ready, there is a lot involved. So when they’re taken, that’s very disappointing for them.”