In March I had a week off work. I achieved three things:
- I painted the walls, ceilings and skirting boards of Pog towers
- I went on a lampshade making course
- I had my first phone call with Jackie
The results? My house looks nicer, and although two of the three lampshades in my house are made by my own fair hand, that’s one probably best glossed over. That phone call though? I had no idea the impact it would have on me.
Jackie was then a colleague, now a friend, who I’m working with to fundraise for the work we’re doing in the Philippines. I can’t quite believe that it was only three months ago we spoke while I was covered in paint, sitting on dustsheets and started hatching a plan that’s now really coming to life.
We’ve done all sorts of things to fundraise from me selling cards and owl key rings in a field on a rainy bank holiday, to Jackie creating and selling her own cards using her amazing photographic skills, to planning events to just plain old asking people for support. To say that people have been generous is a massive understatement.
But I’ve had another idea and I thought the best way to get it out there was to blog about it here. One of my colleagues told me his daughter liked the owl key ring he bought her so much, she took it to bed. With the help of a friend, we came up with the idea of sponsoring an owl:
To sponsor an owl costs £5 / $8. In return, I’ll crochet a small owl toy for you, to take with me to give to the kids I meet who at the moment have very little to call their own. Your donation goes to our fund, and children there get something bright and cheerful that might be a small comfort to them. What do you think? Do you fancy sponsoring an owl? All you have to do is leave your donation (in dollars, so $8, or whatever you can spare) here.
When I go out to Tacloban, I’ll take pictures, and you will be able to see where your owls have gone by keeping an eye on the Helping Hands blog Jackie and I write. You’ll also be able to see exactly where your donations have gone – quite a unique opportunity*. All money raised goes to our projects – the trips Jackie and I are making are entirely self funded.
There is so much that needs doing in and around Tacloban. Jackie has been talking to locals this week to get a plan in place for her visit at the end of the month. Working out how to split our funds between things like communities needing water and families needing equipment to restart livelihoods is giving us both a sense of unease, so we want to raise as much as we possibly can to help as many people as we possibly can. When I go out in August, I will follow up on what Jackie starts and, if we have more funds, kick off some more projects. And hand out the owls of course. If you have the pennies to sponsor an owl, you’ll be helping us to do more.
* It has been pointed out to me that carrying a large number of these small owls in my suitcase could make it look like I am doing a spot of drug smuggling. I’m hoping that my likeness to Bridget Jones won’t go that far, but I guess that would make a few interesting blog posts…That sort of thing and whether I cope with the toilets will remain on this blog. That’s quite unique too. :o)