Shin­ing light on oth­ers

Lo­cal busi­ness col­lect­ing to spon­sor seven fam­i­lies for Christ­mas

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Help­ing peo­ple, vol­un­teer­ing and giv­ing to the less for­tu­nate are not un­com­mon around the hol­i­days.

But, Daniel Fo­ley hopes it be­comes more com­mon all year round.

The 33-year-old Spa­niard’s Bay busi­ness owner be­gan or­ga­niz­ing events last year to help out those in need. In 2014 he or­ga­nized a food drive at over a dozen busi­nesses around the Avalon Penin­sula. This year, the plan is big­ger.

Fo­ley, who op­er­ates Fo­ley’s Mar­tial Arts in Spa­niard’s Bay, has de­cided to help spon­sor seven fam­i­lies — two from Con­cep­tion Bay North, two from Par­adise and one from Tor­bay — for Christ­mas. He is col­lect­ing food items, cloth­ing, jack­ets, toys and presents at his gym, lo­cated on the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way across from Restau­rant 99.

It’s a daunt­ing task, es­pe­cially for some­one that also works out of Par­adise and Tor­bay through­out the week. But be­cause of the help of vol­un­teers like Lisa Jones and Lau­rie Lavhey, Fo­ley has so far been suc­cess­ful in col­lect­ing items.

His en­deavor is called “Pass the Light,” some­thing Fo­ley says de­scribes what he wants to see hap­pen with the event. The in­ten­tion is to ig­nite a wave of sup­port from oth­ers to en­cour­age help­ing with sim­i­lar causes.

“It could be go­ing faster, but there’s a lot of peo­ple do­ing char­ity stuff this year,” he ex­plained. “As long as the be­hav­iour spreads and I can help out the peo­ple I want to help out, it’s (great).”

With the help of Keyin Col­lege in Car­bon­ear, Fo­ley has col­lected many win­ter coats, bags of cloth­ing, lightly used toys and gifts for chil­dren. So far dolls and stuffed an­i­mals are pop­u­lar do­na­tions.

As for food this year, it’s not just non­per­ish­able items that Fo­ley hopes will go to fam­i­lies in need. He is hop­ing for fresh veg­eta­bles and tur­keys as well. Char­i­ties to be helped “We’re try­ing to help as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble and catch any of the peo­ple that may have been lost in the cracks,” said Fo­ley.

Other do­na­tions Fo­ley is col­lect­ing in­clude any warm cloth­ing, like mitts and hats. Cloth­ing and food will get do­nated to ei­ther the Sin­gle Par­ents As­so­ci­a­tion of New­found­land and Labrador, the Iris Kirby House, Thrive St. John’s or the Wise­man Cen­tre — a tem­po­rary place for home­less in­di­vid­u­als.

“Our goals are mod­est,” Fo­ley ex­plained. “For each fam­ily we hope to pro­vide enough food for three days and a gift un­der $75 value for each mem­ber of the fam­ily.”

Fo­ley would like to see oth­ers get­ting in­volved, and not just around the hol­i­days. One vol­un­teer started her own project and is spon­sor­ing two fam­i­lies her­self, with a lit­tle bit of help.

“I want to be as pub­lic as pos­si­ble so many peo­ple will see it and many peo­ple will copy it,” said Fo­ley. “And just the feel­ing they will get from do­ing it is enough to re­in­force it so they do it again.”

If any­one would like to do­nate to Fo­ley’s Pass the light cam­paign, they can con­tact Dan Fo­ley at df­fi­nal20@gmail.com, find him on Face­book or visit Fo­ley’s web­site, where there is a list of char­i­ties in the re­gion you can also do­nate to.

PHOTO BY MELISSA JENK­INS/THE COM­PASS

Daniel Fo­ley has been col­lect­ing items to do­nate for seven fam­i­lies at his Spa­niard’s Bay mar­tial arts gym for a few weeks. He has col­lected cloth­ing, coats, food and toys for those fam­i­lies.

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