Shining light on others
Local business collecting to sponsor seven families for Christmas
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 email@example.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.
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.