Hello to all our friends at English Martyrs in Reading, who have been getting involved in all sorts of camel themed fundraising activities to enable them to buy three camels from our World Gifts scheme! Wow! They’ve already raised £1,400 which is amazing! So how did they come up with this idea and what have they been doing? Read on!
Our friend and great CAFOD volunteer, Linda Heneghan told us
“In previous years, instead of sending parish Christmas cards, our parish would have one Christmas card that we would all sign and we would donate the money we had saved to charity, but this year, we thought we should do something different.
“There are six of us in our parish liturgy group, and we regularly meet with Father Dennehy to discuss the upcoming liturgies. In a recent meeting, a few of us said, ‘Why don’t we buy a camel for Christmas?’ And Father Dennehy replied, ‘Why don’t we buy three – one for each wise man?”
“We set up a Christmas raffle so that the children could get involved in the fundraising and there is also a name the camel competition! We’ve now made a list of 165 names, from Biblical names, to quirky names.
“I also have a puppet, called Francesca, who comes into schools with me when I do presentations. A few years ago, I went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands and there is a picture of Francesca on a camel in Bethlehem (see above). We took the photo and made it into a puzzle to show our fundraising; each piece represents £50 and once the puzzle is complete, we have brought one camel.”
Since the beginning of Advent, the community have come together and have already raised enough to buy three (and a half) camels. That’s incredible!
“I was really excited and I couldn’t quite believe it! Everyone was making jokes and were talking about the camels.”
Thank you so much! These animals can provide families with up to seven litres of milk a day to drink and breeding calves can be a much needed source of income.
“It is so lovely how the fundraising has really taken off in the parish. We’re really pleased that once people were aware of what we were doing, everybody got involved. Sometimes at Christmas, we can be asked to do and be so much but this fundraising has just given people a little nudge to raise awareness of others around the world at Christmas.”
O this is brilliant! Thank you so much Linda, Father Michael, the parish liturgy group and everyone at English Martyrs for really getting behind this fantastic initiative and embracing all things camel!!