By Emily Saunders
CALVIA

A GROUP of friends who meet on Thursdays in Santa Ponsa have raised more than 37'000 euros for charity over the past seven years.
Each time The Coffee Mates raise 1'000 euros, they look for a deserving cause and make a donation. This week, following an article in the Bulletin, group founder Dora McFarlane chose to donate money to the Calvia Lions' food collection.

The Coffee Mates is a lively ladies social club which meets at the “Made in Italy” pizza café in Costa de la Calma on Thursday mornings. It began as a series of coffee mornings held by Dora at her home, back in 2002. Soon the idea was so popular that they moved the get-togethers to the nearby café where the 20 or more ladies can sit and chat.

To raise funds for charity, the women pay five euros each time they meet up. As well as coffee and a chat, they enjoy a game of bingo and a raffle. They also bring books and clothes to sell to each other. Above all, The Coffee Mates' Thursday morning is a social event and an opportunity to meet friends. “I started the coffee mornings just for something to do, really,” said Dora, who moved to Majorca from Glasgow 15 years ago. “It gets the women out of the house and we've all made many new friends through The Coffee Mates. In the winter, we can be as few as nine or 10 on a Thursday morning but in the summer twice as many and we even have holidaymakers joining in.” New members arrive at Coffee Mates through word of mouth or they read one of the notices which are displayed in the Mimosa apartments, where Dora lives. “I see women around the pool at the apartments who are there every day and don't even speak to each other, but when I get them to The Coffee Mates they suddenly get to know each other and become friends,” said Dora.

At first, the money raised by the coffee mornings went to charities abroad, including Africa and the UK.
Amongst their donations, the ladies have bought a dozen goats for African farmers, sent clothing to Harare, helped hospices in England, Wales and Scotland and sponsored an Ecuadorian child's education for four years.

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