G4G celebrates 5 years
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!