Friday, 1 December 2023, 19:27
St George Charity, based in Duquesa, Sabinillas, has launched its Christmas Campaign, which includes different initiatives to help the local comunity. These include the children's gift collection, the Estepona social kitchen Christmas dinner and the feed-a-family scheme. One kind-hearted British resident of Sotogrande has again got behind this project, and she is attempting to raise 16,000 euros to provide a packed lunch to local underprivileged schoolchildren for one year.
Jojo Ruby France began raising funds to help youngsters ten years ago, when, along with members of the gym she runs in Sotogrande, she decided to give 45 children from a home in San Roque a Christmas card containing five euros. The appeal far exceeded Jojo's expectations, and she raised enough money to give each child 20 euros.
"I went to the children's home just before Christmas and it was awful. I've never cried so much. These children never received gifts during the festive season," Jojo told SUR in English.
The experience led to Jojo contacting the St George Charity, which has three secondhand shops in Manilva and one in Estepona, to ask what she could do to help. The charity introduced her to a soup kitchen in Sabinillas that provides an evening meal to families in need, but "their children never had anything to eat during the day".
"The social services supply the kitchen with a list of families in danger of social exclusion. We started off with about 20 children, but trust me, there are hundreds of hungry children out there, but we can only feed those we have enough money for," she explained.
Over the last ten years, Jojo and her team have raised in excess of 100,000 euros for the St George Charity.
In order to reach this year’s target, several events have been organised. One of these took place last Saturday, when seven people skydived from 15,000 feet, which raised more than 2,000 euros. Jojo also has several sponsored runners taking part in the Malaga half marathon next Sunday; meanwhile 30 children will attempt to do 1,200 squat-thrust burpees in fancy dress, which she says “will be quite a challenge”.
"We all try to put ourselves through something that is pretty uncomfortable. We only do this occasionally, but these poor children generally live in poverty, which is uncomfortable for them every day. One of the worst feelings in the world is having nothing in your belly," Jojo said.
The campaign is well under way and Jojo and her helpers have already raised around 7,000 euros, and she is hoping to boost the fund this Saturday, when a fun quiz day will held from 3pm at the Hairy Lemon bar in Sotogrande. Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/StGeorgeChristmas2023
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