Although getting together to have fun is one of the most appealing aspects of belonging to the AWC, we are also very mindful of our duties and civic responsibility as a charitable foundation.
For many years we have provided support to charitable organizations: La Sonrisa de un Niño, a childcare center and nursery school for low-income families; El Pozo Santo, which provides a home for elderly people who are without adequate means.
The AWC raises funds for these charities through social events and raffles. We launch our AWC charity year during the late autumn when we organise a ‘Mulled Wine and Mince Pies’ social event. This is followed by our annual ‘BIG’ Christmas raffle which is drawn at the adult Christmas party. In parallel we have two appeals: money for ‘Food for the Families’ at La Sonrisa de un Niño – this money buys some basic items of food, enabling the families to have a token of Christmas cheer; and a ‘toiletries appeal’ (shampoo, shower gel, deodorant and ‘baby wipes’)for the elderly folk. During the spring and summer we hold social events e.g. Easter hot cross buns social, British Cream Teas social and other events as we feel inspired!
Some of our AWC members volunteer by helping to feed the toddlers at lunchtime at La Sonrisa de un Niño while others help to serve meals and provide social interaction at the home for the elderly.
The charity team maintains a close relationship with these organizations to ensure that we can maximize our support. If necessary special appeals are set up to help the charities when a sudden crisis arises.
Charity is a vital part of our club activities and enables us to give something back to the city that so many of us now call home.
The Hospital of the Sántisimo Cristo de los Dolores (Holy Christ of the Sorrows) has long been known as El Pozo Santo (the Holy Well) that gives its name to the plaza in which the residence is located. The organization was founded in 1666 by Marta de Jesús Carrillo and Beatriz Jerónima de la Concepción, two extraordinary women from the order of San Francisco de Asis. They created the first home for impoverished, infirm, disabled women in the province of Seville, and its doors have remained open without interruption for more than 350 years.
The residence has a capacity for 100 women residents. Men are now are admitted as well, normally husbands of women who have already taken up residence there. The Junta de Andalucía provides some subsidies for some residents’ upkeep, but with so many people to care for and the astronomical cost of maintaining a large, 350+ year old building, Pozo Santo is perpetually short of funds.
Sonrisa de un Niño
La Sonrisa de un Niño was founded in 1969 and became an Association in 1986. The Junta de Andalucía gives some assistance, in return for which the Association provides places for an additional 30 children in the nursery school on a free programme. This enables financially struggling parents to work. The remainder of the funding comes from private donations.
This day care centre/nursery school is located in a modest neighbourhood in Sevilla Este. The Association provides meals, educational materials and toiletries, including disposable nappies for the infants and children in their care.
La Sonrisa de un Niño maximises its support to desperately deserving families providing some food, clothing, household goods and occasionally medicines.
The centre is constantly in need of children’s clothes, disposable nappies, cots, prams, strollers, bedding, food and other basic everyday items.
Helping our charities in a ‘Hands-on’ way
To support these programs the AWC Charity Team sponsors the following:
- a ‘Mulled Wine and Mince Pies’ social event along with the ever-popular cake stall
- a BIG Christmas raffle – the main prize being a large basket of speciality seasonal food and drink
- a toiletries appeal (shower gel, shampoo, spray deodorant, wipes, toothbrushes were collected for the elderly residents)
- a ‘Food for the Families’ appeal – financial collection to enable us to buy very basic food so that the families were able to enjoy just a little seasonal cheer (chorizo, chocolate drink, tinned sardines, tuna, mejillones, pasta, mini biscottes, fruit juice and cheese)
- a ‘Mini Baskets’ raffle at the adult Christmas party
Could you find a little spare time? Would you like to help our charities? They need us!
La Sonrisa de un Niño in Sevilla Este
- help at lunchtime to feed the tiny tots
El Pozo Santo – Encarnación area of the Centre of Sevilla.
The elderly folk are always glad to have a ‘little bit of company’
- sit with them and have a simple chat
- take some of the more ‘mobile’ ones for a coffee or to the shops close-by
- do a puzzle or look at magazines
- play Bingo with a small group – apparently this is very popular!
- help at mealtimes
We hope that you will be inspired to offer a little of your time. Some of our members are already involved and find the interaction very warming and rewarding.