However, this year is proving to be a bit more challenging due to Covid-19 restrictions. All of the annual fundraising events have come to a complete stand still. The need for ACCA’s charity is more paramount to the wellbeing of thousands of under privileged youngsters, ACCA the Associação de Solidariedade com os Associação Carenciados do Algarve was established in the year 2000. The committed shared a vision that was clearly-defined – to help those unable to help themselves, and to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of children across the Algarve, whether their need are financial, for medical, physical or psychological support.
Nowadays the charity is run by a dedicated group of volunteer committee members Anna Bialek, Jenny Harrison, Margaret Garnett, Maxine Binns, Phillipa Clancey, Sharon Henderson and Wanda Crawford. ACCA deals with associations and institutions, orphanages, schools, churches and community centres and thousands of children, organising events that will generate income to pay for essentials such as vital medication, life-changing equipment, and dental work that leads to a life without constant pain.
Normally, activities that secure much-needed income for the charity include a Conrad annual bike ride around Quinta do Lago, golf tournaments, Easter and Halloween parties, Christmas markets, and the biggest fundraiser of all, the annual Elegant Gala at the Conrad Algarve Hotel.
Christmas cards, inspired in conjunction with ArtCatto, and many tombolas and auctions – made possible by the generosity of ACCA sponsors and supporters – add to the funds that continue to expand the charity’s reach.
Would you like to be an Angel?
One particular programme that has expanded beyond all expectations, is the end-of-year Angels programme, which began in 2001.
ACCA obtains a list of deprived children from poverty-stricken backgrounds and whose families are living below the poverty line. These children range from infants to teenagers, who have never had a new Christmas present of their very own. The names come to the charity from local orphanages, community centers, schools, sometimes Social Security offices and occasionally directly from the parents, a due diligence is established for each cause by is verified by a Committee member.
Every year, ACCA reaches out to the community at large – from businesses to individuals to membership groups – requesting that they take names from the list and commit to buying a gift for a needy child. In its first year, the Angels supplied carefully-chosen and especially wrapped presents to 620 children. In 2019, the figure had grown astronomically to 2,350.
Many people simply donate funds to the appeal. In this case, committee members and volunteers do the shopping, wrapping and labelling etc. Basically, all hands are on deck, everyone on the Committee gets involved with this extraordinary campaign. Many of the local businesses, individual and Golf courses contribute.
Your support is more vital this year than ever.
Interested in getting involved with ACCA by becoming a volunteer? Call Wanda Crawford on 919 617 995.