Our local charities on the island have been working double time during the COVID-19 lockdown. The team from the Allen Graham Charity have had more than their fair share of drama during the last two months. First their basement was flooded out due to a leaky pipe, leaving a huge amount of their stock only suitable for the bin.
Next they had to cope with pumping out the water, throwing away countless bags of ruined donations and figuring out a way to dry out the space, all during the weeks when we were all confined to our homes. With the support of the Majorca Daily Bulletin and its readers the word was spread that the Allen Graham Charity 4 Kidz shops would be needing stock ASAP when they were allowed to receive goods again.
Thankfully many answered the call, and both the shops in Pollensa and in Cas Catala have got some great new stock in, including some rather lovely furniture. All recently donated by kind hearted souls who have been taking the time to sort out their belongings during the lockdown. On the first day of being open again their electrics tripped out, but it seems as if finally they are getting back to normal.
I nipped in to see Rosemary and her gang at Cas Catala and leave them some bits and bobs I had cleared out which I thought they might be able to sell on. “We are all very COVID conscious”, Rosemary told me. All of the volunteers in the shop were wearing gloves and face shields plus masks. The shop rules are very clear, they have hand sanitiser and gloves for you to use at the entrance, and they will expect you to wear a mask. You must practice social distancing, and you should not handle the goods unnecessarily. The team are steam cleaning all the clothes they have received as donations, and will clean any clothes which are tried on and then not bought.
The late Allen Graham started helping children in the homes every year when he founded the Salvation Army in Majorca in 1992. The Foundation was formed in 2010 to be able to expand and help many more young people. However you might be surprised to read that the foundation has to pay tax on its earnings as there is no such thing as a “Charity Commission” in Spain. “Our outgoings are high, we pay rent on the shop in Ca’s Catala and the double locale in Puerto Pollensa. We also pay to rent for an apartment in Palma for the young people in our Emancipation project who were all finishing their studies and were just about to start work when the lockdown happened. We are also in the process of interviewing young adults who are living in the children’s homes who are about to have to leave and will be trying to start their adult lives and pursue a career but have no family and will have nowhere to live”. An important fundraising initiative which has begun during the lockdown is Ride To Rescue which I wrote about for the Sunday edition of the Majorca Daily Bulletin, you can find more information about this adventure online at www.majorcadailybulletin.com.
The shops are now open from 9.30 to 13.30 Monday to Saturday. They are ready, willing and able to collect furniture as well if you have large items which you would like to donate. I know they have received donations of some beautiful quality furniture so keep an eye out for that on their Facebook page as they tend to post up photos of the new stock as it comes in. By the way, I can vouch for the comfiness of the chairs in the photos (a great bargain in my opinion) and I picked up a lot of books for a pittance which I will be sending off to my step father to keep him occupied, much cheaper and environmentally friendly to reuse and recycle than to buy from one of those big online stores, and everyone benefits! Please support the shops if you can. Contact them via email on: firstname.lastname@example.org and see their website www.agrahamcharity.org and you can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AllenGrahamCharity.