We are so thankful to all our fundraisers over the past ten years for taking on so many challenges, from 5/10K runs to half/full marathons, we have Zumba-ed, biked, walked, hiked and run in many parts the country and in Malawi too. We have held an 11 annual outdoor fundraising events each cycling 30 miles or walking 8-9 miles across the East and West Yorkshire – some barefooted! One challenge was the National 3 Peaks.
We have covered over 562 miles raising funds with over 400 supporters, raising over £30,000. Over the past 10 years, together through local, national and recently international supporters, we have raised almost half a million pounds!
So what inspires our fundraisers? It is often the drive to see their efforts make a difference to others in need and its this drive that has kept people focused whilst climbing mountains in torrential rain and whilst running through the “wall” of their first marathon. Some have gone on to make the 7,500 mile 24 hour trip to Malawi to seen for themselves the impact Shine is having.
As I look back over the past six months in particular and the fundraising which has taken place, I am so overwhelmed by the number of people who have contributed to support the work. We have had so many challenges this year starting with damages to the Children’s home and staff homes. More recently the projects car was written off. Christmas offerings which came in to help with the repairs needed and supporters who took on their own challenges have played an enormous part in Shine getting back on its feet.
We have students, who are literally on their own, away at college trying to make ends meet. These young people look to Shine Relief as they would a parent and even though Shine does not have funds earmarked for students additional needs they have been found. When extra funds were needed for accommodation and equipment God has made a way and we have not let them down.
One of our fundraisers Amy walked the 9 Miles to Spurn Point barefooted last year saw her personal fundraising soar to over £1,200. She shared what motivated her to take up the challenge
“Having spent a significant amount of my formative years growing up and studying in West Africa, I’ve had the opportunity to experience first-hand the various obstacles there are to receiving a quality education that you can build your life on. Therefore the work Shine does, strikes a significant chord with me. I am aware that it could have very easily have been me that was born into a family in the village with no educational prospects and most likely predestined to a lifetime of poverty. Knowing how little it takes to make a significant difference in a country like Malawi, I have been compelled to provide my support to this charity in any way possible.
Being a regular volunteer, I have personally witnessed the construction of their first community centre, where even the youngest of children are able to attend nursery and day care facilities. This is something that many underprivileged towns are unable to afford for many reasons. The remote locations don’t attract qualified staff, even if it did, the parents would be unable to afford to cater to their salaries and the children as additional farm labourers that will not be given up that easily.
Shine Relief supports children, carers, vulnerable and child-headed families in their homes. Shine Village is an oasis for the whole community with a space to practice their faith and activities to develop life skills to equip the community to care for more children, build good leaders and support new businesses. Shine School Bursary supports vulnerable students in the community with school fees, books, uniforms, and boarding fees. 320+ children receive a free meal each day; 120 at our Early Years group and a further 200 infants at partner centres across the area. I did the 9 mile walk barefoot in order to empathise with the kids that have to do it every day (and not on beach sand!)”
We are so grateful to our friends like Amy who take time to raise vital funds which means we can plan to take on more students, seeing them through both secondary school and onto college. This can literally make the world of difference to them. Thank you everyone and see you at the next event!