Mar Shopping collects over 450 “essential items” to help the homeless

Mar Shopping Algarve’s latest charity initiative to help homeless people start new lives has been hailed a success, with over 450 essential items being donated by visitors and staff.

Among the items donated were kitchenware, decorative items, lamps, furniture, towels, bed sheets, electronic appliances such as coffee machines, toasters and blenders, clothes lines and many more.

The donations will now go to GATO (Grupo de Apoio a Toxicodependentes), an Algarve-based association providing support to recovering drug addicts and homeless people.

The association is developing two projects in Loulé – Apartamentos Partilhados (Shared Apartments) and Projeto Casa Ajuda (Project House Help) – which provide homes for the homeless. Altogether they are expected to help 15 homeless people in the borough.

The projects are described as “pioneering in the Algarve” and hope to help the homeless reintegrate into society by promoting their independence whilst still providing support through a team that assists them with their health, education, employment, hygiene and home management.

Meanwhile, some of the businesses located at Mar Shopping have decided to go the extra mile. My Pastta has donated pasta and other food products, while Farmácia Silveira will donated first-aid-kits and Aroma will donated hygiene products. Several other items were also donated by visitors which will also be used in the projects.

“It was very gratifying to collaborate with Associação GATO for this charity drive and see that we obtained excellent results, which will help improve the lives of the people involved in these initiatives,” said Mar Shopping Algarve manager Ana Antunes.

Adding that the initiative involved a great effort from staff members and visitors, Antunes said that “our goal is to continue to collaborate with this association whenever possible for similar initiatives”.