Sunday, 11 September 2011

The £3 Challenge!

What can you get for £3?  That's the question our good friend and regular Happy House volunteer, Dawn Heather White, has been asking her colleagues in Ireland.
When the summer sales started Dawn Heather asked them to support her £3 Challenge - an idea you might like to follow. 
Dawn Heather appealed: "Now that the sales have started there are lots of things you can get that would help the children in the Happy House Childrens' Home. My plea to you is, when you are doing your weekly shop in Tesco or Asda, or when you are browsing in Primark or Heatons, can you  please put one item of clothing into your trolley costing £3 or less for me to bring to the Happy House when I go back at the end of October?
"I bought boy's black jeans for 50p a pair in Primark, t-shirts for £1 and, in Tesco, checked boys' shirts for £2. Sports Direct were doing Mary Jane crocs for £2 (although I think I cleared them out of their stock). Heatons regularly has a £1 rail where I managed to buy £52 worth of clothing for £10. M&S had girls dresses reduced from £20 to £3. This is the time of year for a bargain!
 "Next time you are shopping, please put one item of clothing into your trolley, costing £3 or less. It will make a big difference to a Happy House child."
Dawn Heather and her friend and colleague Judith Carson, who also volunteered at the Happy House this year, are collecting in all the very generous donations that have been pouring in. Some have been posted out our as pictures show ... the parcels with donors in Ireland and arriving with our family at the Happy House. The rest Dawn Heather will be taking with her next month.
She is thrilled with the way her generous colleagues are responding to her appeal: "When I went back to the Happy House in April this year I was amazed by how much all the children had grown in the five months since my previous visit.
" Obviously the vitamins they ar etaking combined with the healthy food prepared by Habel make a big difference to the childrens' development. I also noticed how some of the children were growing out of their clothes so I decided to make the most of the sales when I returned home.
"When I got back I sent out an email to various departments called The £3 Challenge. I asked people what they could buy for £3 - a pint of beer? A burger? and suggested that they put something for £3 or less into their shopping trolleyfor me to bring to the Happy House.
" I had no idea how successful my email would be or how many people would rise to the challenge. One person told me I had tapped into her whole family's 'shopping gene' and arrived in with 20 t-shirts from one of her sisters plus several bags of clothes from herself and her mother!
" I sent the email out in early July and, now,  weeks later, people are still arriving at my office with bags of clothes.
"Only this morning while I was writing this  a woman from our finance department brought in a bag with two pairs of trousers, five skirts, eight tops, five pairs of shorts and three cardigans all from the M&S sale and told me her sister has another bag of clothes to send in
"I have been delighted although not surprised by peoples' generosity as everyone I work with has been incredibly supportive of any fundraising events I have organised since I first got involved with the Happy House.
" It's been several weeks now since I was able to see the floor of my spare bedroom as I have piles of clothes divided by age and gender and, instead of decreasing as I send out parcels, the piles keep growing! I think what makes the difference is that people know everything they give goes straight to the children and, each time I return from a visit, I am able to show them photographs and tell them stories about all the little characters who make up the Happy House family."
Sue and the family are thrilled and touched by this overwhelming generosity. " As Dawn Heather says our family grows so fast and new clothes are something very special to them.  They come to us with just what they are standing up in so to have new clothes, specially a whole new outfit, is something very special to them.  All these lovely clothes will be a great help when we are sorting our Santa's 2011 Happy House delivery!"
Thank you  and lots of love to Dawn Heather and all her colleagues and friends .. and, indeed, to their family and friends too for crossing the miles to bring us smiles.