General News

Make A Smile

Make A Smile

At the General Assembly in Murla on Thursday 6th June we were delighted to welcome Tony Grande from the charity “Make a Smile” as our guest speaker.

The Goodwill team had presented the charity with a 1000e donation early this year from funds raised through events and the generosity of members. Tony thanked members for this and explained it had been used to purchase summer clothing and birthday gifts for children in the Benissa children’s home.

I have been fortunate to have met Tony on several occasions and heard him speak about his charity, but even so, I was humbled and in awe once again and, by the silence in the audience, it was clear members were too.

Tony explained how during the financial crisis of 2008 he was approached in his shop, the Bed Centre in Calpe, and asked if he could help to provide beds for 8 children in a home for vulnerable children in Benissa.

A DIY SOS followed asking local businesses to help repair and renovate the home as it was in a poor condition and the fantastic Costa Blanca community jumped in to help.
Money was raised to provide food for the children as they were struggling to feed them and Tony and the team were soon made aware of 98 children in 8 houses plus 26 mentally challenged young people that also needed urgent supplies, and so their charity grew.

They set up a farm to teach people life lessons such as how to grow their own food which proved to be hugely successful at the time. Sadly this has since had to close.

More recently they opened a charity shop in Teulada at the bottom of the main road to provide a regular income stream and this has also proved very successful. They would welcome volunteers to help in the shop, donations of goods to sell and shoppers! Like all charities, income is critical and they are immensely grateful for donations from organisations and individuals to be able to continue and expand the amazing work they do.

Tony explained children must leave the homes when they reach the age of 18 but they work with them to try find jobs and somewhere safe to live so they are not abandoned and at risk.

Members had lots of questions and were interested in the albums Tony had to show about the work Make a Smile does.

We thanked Tony for his and the charity’s amazing contribution to the community and it is an honour to be able to support them.

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