VillaMia has supported this worth-while cause for a number of years. They raise funds for children in care on the West Coast of Sri Lanka in the area of Ambalangoda. Some children are from family breakdowns or referred from the probation services as parents are imprisoned or unable to cope. In addition, they help support families genuinely in need financially, usually due to health issues.
As well as sponsoring leaflets and in the past running a Christmas Grotto (see below), VillaMia is also a drop off point for clothes and toys which can be sold locally to raise funds - 100% of which are sent to Sri Lanka.
Over 700 euros was raised over two afternoons when Santa visited a grotto inside the VillaMia office on the Arenal to raise much needed funds for the Spread some Sunshine project in Sri Lanka.
More than 40 children wrote letters to Santa where they could post them before seeing the big man himself for a chat and to check if they were on the good list. Each child left smiling with a gift.
Also available over the event was a raffle, tombola, lucky dip and gifts to purchase such as Reindeer food and home-made dog treats.
Helen Davis, a resident of Javea, set up the project a few years ago to help children in Sri Lanka – after she could see first-hand that charitable money was not reaching those people in need in the country.
Helen said: "The children have a basic diet of rice and pulses so events like this mean we can give them fruit and vegetables and even a Christmas tree with lights. We know 100% of the money goes directly to those who need help. We get receipts for the food and purchases made over there along with photos from our project manager Sampath. I have regular phone calls with him and his wife Dilhani to discuss needs, issues and progress. When possible I go myself to see projects we are supporting."
Helen and her husband, Steve organise fund raising events throughout the year and collect clothing and bric a brac from Javea to sell in charity shops and markets to raise money. Any donations can be dropped off at the VillaMia office. Helen spends hours sorting through the donations, washing clothing when needed and working out the best option to raise maximum money.
She added: "I would like to thank Chris and Angela from Merestone for being a fantastic Santa and his helper. Also, Michelle and Martin from VillaMia for donating the childrens presents and office space – its great to have a company on board to support us. Thanks also to those who kindly gave raffle prizes. Plus friends Denise, Yvonne, Siobhan and Jo for their home made cakes, dog cookies, reindeer dust and savoury goodies. Huge thanks go to everyone who has supported us in 2018 ... we still have much to do in the year ahead. ”
Michelle Hughes, owner of VillaMia said: "It's that special time of the year when it is good to put other people first. Not only did we have a lot of happy and polite children but also it raised a great deal of money to help children in another country as well. This was the first year we have done this but hope we can do it again next year and build on this success.”
More information from: Helen Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
VillaMia's rental manager, Jenni Dunne held a ‘frock swap' event at her home recently, raising 500 euros for the John Taylor Hospice and further 170 for Spread some Sunshine.
The afternoon event, sponsored by VillaMia and Higher Vision, was attended by over 30 people each bring 5 items of clothing which they swapped. There was also a raffle, several local businesses selling products and donating a percentage of takings and plenty of cava consumed.
Jenni chose the 2 charities to help support a few friends living in Javea. Spread some Sunshine is a fundraising project to support children in care on the south west coast of Sri Lanka, run by a friend Helen Davies. The second was the John Taylor Hospice which provides specialist care for people living with a terminal illness and their families in Birmingham and the surrounding areas. This charity was selected after another friend, Denise Fallon's nephew sadly passed away there. There were also balloons released at the event in his memory.
Jenni said "I have friends that work so hard for charity so just wanted to show my support. It was a lovely afternoon which went into the evening and a fun way to raise money for such worthwhile causes. I hope to do something again in the future.”
Denise added "I can't thank everyone enough for their kindness & support, the pictures are fantastic and I will be showing them to The John Taylor hospice when I visit to take the funds raised at the from the frock swap when I am in the UK for a few weeks. Once again many thanks, it means a lot."
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