Happy Bears project: make a difference in a child’s life

The Covid pandemic has been a global challenge for all but particularly for charities supporting those in need. Fundraising in “normal” ways has been almost impossible, with government funding for charities also reduced.

The mission of Rotary Club Estoi Palace International (RCEPI) is to help those in need in the community. With this in mind, the Club has announced the launch of its online project ‘Happy Bears’.

Members of RCEPI have been busy crafting Happy Bears at home during lockdown. The bears are crocheted, knitted or sewn by a talented team, and the results can be seen on the RCEPI website www.rotaryestoipalace.org

“We are asking the public to join us and make a difference to someone’s life by sponsoring a Happy Bear. Go to our website and sponsor a Happy Bear and help some of those most in need in our community,” said a spokesperson for the Rotary Club.

“You can pick your individual bear and funds raised will go to support two local charities who do so much to support the under privileged in our society. At the end of the fundraiser, the Happy Bears will be donated to the two associations for the children.”

Associations benefitting from the Happy Bears initiative are:

• The Refúgio Aboim Ascenção in Faro looks after abandoned, abused and neglected children between the ages of three and eight. Since 1985, the Refúgio’s specialised model of care ‘Emergência Infantil’ dedicated to infants and young children at risk has earned numerous national and international awards, including the prestigious Diana, Princess of Wales Award in 1998. It is also an honorary member of the council of the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) in 1992 and remains a role model for infant care around the globe.

• APEXA, Associação de Apoio à Pessoa Excepcional do Algarve, is based in Albufeira. It was founded 18 years ago by Nuno Neto when his son was born with Spina bifida. He quickly realised how little support was available for disabled children and adults. The association grew to make inclusion of all those suffering from a disability a top priority. Currently, they are supporting families with children who need physical and educational therapies for their disabilities and are also teaching parents how to cope with the responsibilities these measures bring. Neto’s eldest son has continued this work and is now responsible for the social projects department of the institution.

RCEPI’s ‘Happy Bears’ online project is an opportunity to make a difference to those in need. By sponsoring a Happy Bear, you are effectively sponsoring a child and you will have the opportunity to follow up on what a difference your donation can make to a child’s life.

If you would like to join the initiative and make your own Happy Bear to be included in the sponsorship opportunities, contact RCEPI which will be arranging online workshops to show how to crochet a Happy Bear.

happybears@rotaryestoipalace.org