Yesterday I was speaking to a friend of mine, Marie O’Loan. Marie, along with her husband Aodh and a small number of others, run a charity called the Sunshine Foundation. Motivated by the suffering of abandoned children in Romania, in 2001, they set up a house to look after 10 children. They trained staff and provide all the care and support to bring these children up in what may be considered a normal environment. If they had not done this, these children would have remained in appalling conditions with no education, no healthcare and no hope of ever leading a normal life. They secured support from the Romanian authorities and raise all other costs through charity fundraising in Northern Ireland. Twelve years on and their efforts have transformed the lives of the children they look after. They have expanded and now run a number of homes.
Some of the first children brought into their house are now young adults. They still need help however, and so, to provide employment and skills along with a method of local fund raising, they have now set up a shop in Romania selling household goods and clothing donated by people in Northern Ireland. This has been very successful.
Marie and her colleagues are now collecting items for the next container of goods for their shop which is going out in 2014. If you can donate anything to help in this please contact Marie through their web site.
I’ve known Marie and Aodh for some time. I think it is fantastic that they saw the suffering of others and give up so much of their time and resources to so effectively help these abandon children. All the people involved in their charity do this work in their spare time at no cost. In effect all the money and support they generate goes directly to help the children they look after.
I’d be very grateful if you can share this post to help promote the work of the Sunshine Foundation. If you are reading this and feel you can help them please do so. If you are inspired to help others in need, I hope Maire and Aodh’s example will spur you on to do so.