G4G cel­e­brates 5 years

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - CLUBS & CHARITIES - By Irena Bodnarec

Giv­ing4Giv­ing cel­e­brated its 5th an­niver­sary on Au­gust 3 – and in that time the char­ity has raised and do­nated an in­cred­i­ble €81,000 to lo­cal can­cer char­i­ties and good causes.

Gary Burr (pic­tured right, 2nd from right) is the man be­hind this amaz­ing op­er­a­tion, whose life has sadly been touched by the dis­ease. This spurred him on to open the first of what has now grown to four shops - ini­tially in La Nu­cia then fol­lowed by two in Al­tea and one in Fines­trat.

Orig­i­nally from East Lon­don, he moved to Amer­ica for a fresh start fol­low­ing a mar­riage break­down and ran a tra­di­tional Bri­tish pub and restau­rant in Cal­i­for­nia for ten years. But miss­ing fam­ily and friends he re­turned to the UK after 13 years of LA sun­shine in 2000. Un­sur­pris­ingly he found it hard to set­tle with the pro­longed grey skies and so moved to Spain. With his ex­pe­ri­ence in cater­ing he worked as a chef for sev­eral years here, en­joy­ing the laid back re­laxed life­style.

Over the years he sadly lost many close friends and loved ones to the big C – and when his favourite aunt suc­cumbed nearly six years ago he de­cided to use the money which she left him to open the first shop in La Nu­cia.

With the dif­fi­cult eco­nomic cli­mate the shop strug­gled and was ac­tu­ally on the verge of clos­ing – then along came an an­gel in the form of Linda, who turned the shop around and has seen it thrive.

Linda (pic­tured above 3rd from right) is now the group’s co-or­di­na­tor at the shops and auc­tion house and Gary’s right hand arm when it comes to the day to day oper­a­tions.

But it is the fan­tas­tic team of vol­un­teers at the shops (some are pic­tured be­low ) that makes it all pos­si­ble – their hard work and un­wa­ver­ing sup­port and ded­i­ca­tion is sec­ond to none for which Gary is eter­nally grate­ful.

Not con­tent with ‘just’ run­ning the shops, Gary also or­gan­ises a num­ber of fundrais­ing events ev­ery year to raise even more money. Two of the most pop­u­lar are the Dog Walk and Down­hill Bike Ride, which are both very well at­tended and sup­ported by the lo­cal com­mu­nity. Some of the other or­gan­ised events over the last five years in­clude ab­seils, a fash­ion show which in­cluded the 2014 Masterchef con­tes­tant Dani Bowler giv­ing a cook­ery demo, cabaret af­ter­noon, an Easter Fair and quiz nights.

The char­ity, which is fully reg­is­tered, re­ceives no fund­ing or sub­sidy from the gov­ern­ment or town hall – they have to pay the full go­ing rent for each shop unit and ap­pro­pri­ate taxes, which makes Gary’s achieve­ment all the more re­mark­able. Char­i­ties and lo­cal causes that have ben­e­fited over the years in­clude Anemona – breast can­cer sup­port group, AECC – Na­tional Span­ish can­cer char­ity, Dog­gie An­gells, Tasha Lynch ap­peal, Busy Bees Benidorm, Grant a Wish, Bruised But Not Bro­ken, MABS and Make a Smile.

Last year Gary even bought a van full of toys for the chil­dren of fam­i­lies who could not af­ford to buy them, which he handed over to the Red Cross to dis- trib­ute at Christ­mas time.

Now Gary’s lat­est project is a char­ity auc­tion house on the Al­berca in­dus­trial es­tate in La Nu­cia, which takes place at 3pm on the third Fri­day of ev­ery month – with view­ings from mid­day. They also of­fer paid house clear­ances so no need to worry about hir­ing costly vans if you are mov­ing prop­erty or back to the UK. All the buyer and seller fees go di­rectly to the G4G char­ity, en­abling Gary to sup­port even more char­i­ties and good causes. They reg­u­larly up­date the pub­lic via the lo­cal press and so­cial me­dia on where and how much they are do­nat­ing, to en­sure that ev­ery­thing is as trans­par­ent as pos­si­ble. As Gary says “It’s your money so we want to en­sure that you know where it is go­ing”. There are so many char­ity shops pop­ping up – by law they must all have a reg­is­tra­tion num­ber, so do feel free to ask for it and what lo­cal causes they are do­nat­ing to.

Giv­ing4Giv­ing aims to con­tinue to raise funds to help lo­cal char­i­ties but can only do so with your help and con­tin­ued sup­port, by do­nat­ing to the shops. They can never have too many vol­un­teers ei­ther – even if you only have a cou­ple of hours per week to spare, please call Gary on 603 137 697 who will be de­lighted to hear from. Help make a dif­fer­ence!

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